BALDWINSVILLE — After the Supreme Court ruled in June that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee the right to have an abortion, a group of Baldwinsville friends decided they had to take action. They have formed a coalition called the CNY Rally for Women’s Rights and are planning a series of peaceful pro-choice rallies in the village of Baldwinsville. The first gathering is Saturday, September 10.
“We want to do what we can as central New Yorkers to keep reproductive freedoms top of mind and get the vote. We hope people from all over the region will join us,” said MaryAnne Williams, one of the organizers.
Another CNY Rally member, Donna Freyleue, said the group’s creation stemmed from a recent informal gathering planned among friends on Facebook. The protesters received a largely positive response.
“We were standing on each of the Four Corners, holding signs, waving at passing vehicles,” she said. “We got a lot of thumbs up, honking, encouraging shouts. We have a few middle fingers.
Freyleue said she and the CNY Rally group are prepared for a pushback.
“We are ready for this. We are strong women and we are not afraid – we cannot be afraid,” she said. “We’re just not going to be bullied into silence.”
While New York State expanded abortion rights in 2019 with the Reproductive Health Act, Freyleue said reproductive rights are in play at the federal level.
“We are New Yorkers, so it’s easy to assume our rights are safe here,” said Donna Freyleue, another of the organizers. “But the Republicans are talking about a nationwide ban and a personality amendment, and God knows what the Supreme Court will do. The cases will work their way through the courts.
In a referendum on August 2, Kansas voters rejected a proposed amendment to their state’s constitution that would have declared that Kansans did not have a guaranteed right to abortion.
“Kansas has been incredibly encouraging for us,” Freyleue said.
According to a non-profit media Kansas Reflectorballot initiatives in Vermont, California and Kentucky will pose similar questions to voters this fall.
Protecting reproductive rights, including access to abortion, is at the forefront of the November election, even in “blue” states like California and New York, Freyleue said.
“There will be a wave in November but it will not be a red wave. It will be a wave led by women and others to protect everyone’s rights,” she said. “We are not going to apologize. We’re not going to be sweet on this. We’re going to be crystal clear.
The CNY Rally for Women’s Rights will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 10 at Triquetra Books and More, 12 Oswego St., Suite 201 in Baldwinsville.
Attendees are encouraged to wear pink (in honor of women’s rights) and/or green (the color of the pro-choice movement) and peacefully hold protest signs near the Four Corners from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, visit facebook.com/cnyrallyforwomen.