Abortion rights activists march on state Capitol - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Abortion rights activists march on state Capitol


MADISON (WKOW) -- There are only two more days until the legal hold on part of a state abortion law expires, prompting protesters to rally to defend abortion rights.

Organizers call it the "National Day of Action," and they marched down State St. to the Capitol to denounce Act 37, which requires women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a 30-mile radius of their clinics. A federal judge temporarily blocked the latter portion after Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services sued.

"We were very inspired by what happened in Texas, with people coming out and voicing their opinions on these issues," community organizer Sheeva Marvdashti said, referring to the rallies in Texas after that state's Senate passed restrictive abortion bills late Friday.

The protesters chanted, "Not Walker, not the state – women must decide their fate."

"It seems to me like we're wasting taxpayer money and government time debating issues that I thought were settled a long time ago," said protester James Klein, who says he usually keeps his head down and doesn't consider himself an activist. "But the fact that we're out here in 2013 still fighting the fight over and over again, I see that as an indicator to no longer be silent. It's time to get out in the street and start making some noise."

Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 37 into law on July 5, and he seems confident that the law will go through.

"In the last two-and-a-half years we've had plenty of laws that we've signed that ultimately go through the legal process," Walker said on Monday. "I would imagine that just like the others, ultimately like other pieces of legislation I've signed, this too will be upheld."

"He's talking about a little hurdle to prevent women from having comprehensive healthcare, which is what I think is a basic human right," event organizer Tina Trevino-Murphy said.

Conservatives, however, say the abortion laws are in the best interest of women.

"We see the laws that have been passed in Wisconsin as being very good for women," Wisconsin Family Action's Julaine Appling said. "I don't think any woman heads into an abortion with anything other than, this is serious. It's not an easy decision, it's emotionally traumatizing. We get that, but we believe that because of this a woman has the need and the right to know as much as she can about the procedure and what's going on inside her."

If the hold expires Wednesday, two clinics that provide abortions in Appleton and Milwaukee will face closures. Protesters say that if this happens, they will show up to the clinics to show their support.

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