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Reproductive rights march held in Downtown Jonesboro

Protestors marched through Downtown Jonesboro to protest abortion legislation made in recent...
Protestors marched through Downtown Jonesboro to protest abortion legislation made in recent months.(KAIT)
Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 9:40 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Abortion legislation has dominated headlines over the last few months, so abortion rights demonstrators let their voices be heard on Saturday.

The rally joined many others across the state and country in the fight to give women in America the right to access reproductive healthcare, like abortions.

“If that was available to me, and that was something that I needed, and personally right now it’s not but I know for other people around me that is something that is needed,” said Maddy Middleton, a protestor. “And so I would just want that to be accessible and safe and legal.”

The Jonesboro March was organized by Dean MacDonald, the director of the 1st Congressional District for Young Democrats of Arkansas.

He says numerous other organizations like the NAACP and the Free Thinkers of Northeast Arkansas attended as well.

“We’re here to march for reproductive freedom but we’re also here to offer advocacy and a platform to other people for issues like voting rights, voter suppression that’s been going on,” MacDonald said. “So, really we want to offer platforms to anyone who is misrepresented in Northeast Arkansas.”

A majority of the crowd was made up of young adults and college students, who want to open their minds and start more conversations around such a controversial issue.

“Not all of us believe the same, not all of us were raised the same, and we all have different experiences so I guess just keeping your mind open to what other people have to say,” Middleton said.

The protest was largely a response to several pieces of anti-abortion legislation that have been passed across the state and the country, like the one signed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson in March. A Mississippi case dealing with the abortion issue is also scheduled to be heard on Dec. 1 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Also, a recent poll from content partner Talk Business & Politics showed a near split among Arkansas voters on a Texas abortion law.

There was 46.5% support for the law, while 49.5% were opposed. Officials have said the law would prohibit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and would allow individuals to file a lawsuit against a doctor or anyone who “aids and abets” the abortion, Talk Business & Politics reported.

However, locally, there was strong support for the law in the 1st Congressional District, according to the poll.

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