“We won’t go back to hangers if our right to choose is banned,” sang the Raging Grannies, to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” just one of several shots taken Tuesday at U.S. Senator Thom Tillis during this week’s “Tuesdays with Tillis” protest.
Today marked the 125th consecutive week that a group of activists has demonstrated outside of the North Carolina senator’s office in Raleigh. The event garners a steady crowd of about 25 to 30 and focuses on various sociopolitical issues.
Advocates at today’s rally, co-sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina and the North Carolina chapter of the National Organization for Women, condemned Tillis for supporting a spate of abortion bans and limits at the federal and state levels.
The senator has a lengthy history of support for anti-choice legislation.
“We don’t believe he’s representing the people of North Carolina,” said Karen Ziegler, one of the core organizers of the protests. “We feel like he’s… supporting extremist views that are terribly oppressive to women, and are literally killing women, and also, we feel that he’s covering up for the President’s lies and crimes.”
“We’ve seen so many attacks around the country on abortion access,” said Tara Romano, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “And we know that [anti-abortion legislators] want to overturn Roe [v. Wade]… That’s been their goal, to criminalize abortion, criminalize the people who provide abortion, and criminalize the people who get abortions. So we are here to talk about what’s been going on in the state… and what Senator Tillis has done opposed to women’s health since he’s been in the Senate.”
NARAL supports access to affordable birth control, prenatal care, and safe and legal abortion. “[Tillis] has pretty much voted against all those things,” added Romano.
The rally today also featured Kelsea McLain, community outreach director for A Woman’s Choice abortion clinic, who spoke about the recently upheld veto of Senate Bill 359 and the goal of its proponents: “To further stigmatize abortion and the providers of abortion services,” according to McLean.
“In fact,” McLean continued, “a state that wants to protect all life would work to expand Medicaid and ensure that all pregnant people, all born people, all children and their parents have the ability to access affordable healthcare.”