Hundreds of pro-choice demonstrators lined 196th Street Southwest in Lynnwood Saturday afternoon to show support for women’s reproductive rights and protest recent legislative efforts to restrict access to abortion.
The 2021 Women’s March event Oct. 2 was one of more than 650 similar protests across the country. The demonstrations were primarily sparked by recent legislation in Texas banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to not rule the Texas measure unconstitutional.
On Saturday, demonstrators solicited honks from passing vehicles as they lined 64th Avenue West wearing pink and waving signs that said “My body, my choice” and “Abortion access for all!”
The event was hosted by the Salish Sea Chapter of the Washington State Federation of Democratic Women.
“We need to have autonomy for our own bodies,” said Chapter President Cathy Baylor of Lynnwood.
Baylor said the organization was also calling for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would guarantee equal rights for women; protesting Next Step Pregnancy Services, a crisis pregnancy center in Lynnwood that she says attempts to dissuade women from seeking an abortion; and showing support for Planned Parenthood.
“(Planned Parenthood has) been doing a wonderful thing for us in our community,” Baylor said. “Every week, there are people who stand out and protest (the work of Planned Parenthood).”
Nearby, a couple of pro-life demonstrators held signs at the intersection of 196th Street and 68th Avenue. John Bywater, a Snohomish County resident, said he and others came out to counterprotest the Women’s March because they “love babies and hate abortion.”
Bywater said he and his friends regularly come to Lynnwood to protest abortion and instead offer resources like prayer counseling or baby supplies.
–Story and photos by Cody Sexton