Last Monday, reproductive freedom supporter Dianna Wynn joined in with many of her fellow North Carolinians to participate in a Moral Mondays protest. She shared her story with NC Policy Watch:
My Moral Monday arrest and protest experience
By Dianna Wynn
Participating in public protest demonstrations is not something I do, but that all changed for me when the NC legislature chose to attack women’s reproductive rights. I am outraged at the nature of this legislation and the sneaky process that has produced it. Thus, it was with anger and frustration that I chose to attend Moral Monday on July 8th and engage in the civil disobedience that resulted in my arrest.
I did this not knowing how my family and friends would react. However, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming and often unexpected. Both my mother and mother-in-law called the next day to say how proud they are of me. Both talked of the days when abortion was illegal. Roe v. Wade was decided when I was in grade school, so it’s my mother’s generation that fought this fight. And, it’s their daughters and granddaughters that must step up to it now.
Since my arrest I’m no longer permitted in the legislature, but I am able to stand across the street and direct other pink-shirted women into the building. I’ve watched them come alone and come with their friends, children, husbands, partners, and mothers. Many had never before attended a protest rally or observed the legislature in session. I doubt that NC legislators fully anticipated the extent to which their actions would outrage and mobilize us.
I’ve also observed blue-shirted groups who oppose access to abortion arrive to the legislature. I find this color choice interesting. Planned Parenthood has encouraged women to wear pink. This makes sense given that this is a women’s rights issue, and pink is traditionally used to symbolize female. Likewise, blue traditionally symbolizes male. Thus, I am struck by how the opposition’s choice of blue symbolically establishes a “battle of the sexes.” This is unfortunate given the many North Carolinian men who support a woman’s right to choose.
I have long admired the work of Planned Parenthood. It was Planned Parenthood that came into my junior high gym class one day in the 1970’s and provided the only useful sex education I ever received in school. Planned Parenthood was also there to provide me with basic health care services after I graduated from college but did not yet have a job with benefits. Planned Parenthood was there when I needed them, and I was proud to wear Planned Parenthood’s pink shirt when I was arrested on Moral Monday.