'We are not going anywhere': Protesters gather at Capitol to support abortion rights


MADISON, Wis. - With recent laws passed restricting women's access to safe abortions, people in Madison wanted to have their voices heard.

They held a protest at the Capitol Thursday in favor of abortion rights, and the turnout was in the hundreds.

“We are not stepping down,” said organizer Mara Jarvis. “We're not stepping back. We're here. We're loud. We are not going anywhere.”

Many groups backed the pro-abortion rights rally, from the Women's March Wisconsin to #Fight4Her.

What brought them out were lawmakers from states such as Alabama and Georgia who have pushed legislation into law that severely restricts access to safe abortions.

“Reproductive rights are human rights,” said protester Alexandra Rupnow. “Any human should have total body autonomy. Period.”

Anti-abortion rights protesters showed up too, hoping to show the large crowd another side.

“We're here because we're followers of Jesus Christ who want to proclaim the good news of how to be reconciled to God,” said Nicholas Heald, “how a person can have their sins forgiven and to show how this culture, specifically the people, what they support doing to children.”

In Wisconsin, the State Assembly passed four bills against abortion rights last week, from the so-called "born alive" bill to one that effectively cuts Medicaid funding for abortions.

Though Gov. Tony Evers has said he would not sign them, these protesters have a message.

“I would say no uterus, no opinion,” Jarvis said. “I think with this, you don't live our lives. You don't know who we are, and this kind of rhetoric and this kind of language is damaging and it hurts people.”

Protesters also said this isn't just a women's rights issue. They said it extends to the transgender and nonbinary communities as well.