Jan. 22 marks the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which decriminalized abortion in the United States. To celebrate the ruling, and also to raise awareness about current reproductive rights issues, members of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) are marching from the Chinese Park at Santa Rosa and Marsh Street to the SLO courthouse.
NOW coordinator Angie King is expecting a peaceful event beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 22. Representatives from several reproductive rights groups will speak, there will be an open mic, and the event will conclude with a vigil for people who have died in the struggle to keep abortion legal, including women who died as a result of abortions performed by non-professionals.
King said that the goals of the reproductive rights movement have changed from the original ambition to legalize abortion, into a mission to improve the reproductive health of men and women through access to services and ensuring that they're available to anyone who wants them.
"It's not just about keeping abortion legal," King said. "It's equally important for women to fight for the kids we do have, as well as the ones we don't."