The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, returning the decision-making power on abortion to the states. In Wisconsin, that means abortion is now illegal under almost all circumstances except to save the life of the mother.
Demonstrations have been planned in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay to protest Wisconsin’s law and the Supreme Court’s dismantling of the federal constitutional right to abortion.
Sturgeon Bay SCOTUS Protest
A group plans to protest the overturn of Roe v. Wade on July 4, 1 pm, by marching from Martin Park down Third Ave. to the Independence Day celebration at Sunset Park. Attendees are encouraged to carry signs, make noise and wear green clothing to symbolize resistance against anti-abortion laws.
It’s no coincidence that the protest was planned for Independence Day, co-organizer Ash Frank said.
“Independence Day is a very patriotic holiday. It’s to celebrate freedom,” Frank said. “We can’t be free if we don’t have the choice to have an abortion.”
The protest’s date will also allow it to gain more public attention.
Though the event’s organizers do not have experience running a protest, they knew they had to do it after hearing the news and realizing that no other organization had planned a demonstration, co-organizer Kamron Eytcheson said.
“We’re not giving up, and we’re not just going to roll over on our backs,” Eytcheson said. “I think this is pretty unacceptable, and it’s a violation of women’s rights.”
As a 15-year-old, Eytcheson had an ectopic pregnancy that would have been fatal if she hadn’t gotten an abortion. For Eytcheson, now 30, the protest is her way of fighting for the safety of her two daughters.
The organizers’ participation in other local protests, such as the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations, made them realize the importance of safety at such events. That’s why they’re meeting July 3 to make plans for any necessary conflict resolution and spreading information about how to protest safely on their Facebook page.
Though the group expects some level of community backlash, “we can remain powerful, peaceful and safe,” Eytcheson said.
The organizers hope for a large turnout, but they realize the holiday may reduce the number of protestors.
“One [protester] is still enough, you know what I mean?” Frank said. “It doesn’t matter how many people show up. The amount of people isn’t gonna deter my beliefs.”
Sister Bay Walk for Women
Demonstrators will meet at Peach Barn Farmhouse and Brewery in Sister Bay on July 5, 3 pm, to join a Walk for Women in response to the recent Supreme Court decision. Poster-making supplies will be available, and at 4 pm, participants will walk with their signs to the corner of Mill Road and Bay Shore Drive.
When Kindgoods co-owner Emma Cox heard that Roe v. Wade had been overturned, she partnered with Peach Barn owner Sarah White and resident Abby Duebler to organize the upcoming walk.
“One of the things that I love and I’m super proud of in our community is the amount of just incredible women,” Cox said. “I feel such a strong female presence here that it just seemed remiss to not be standing up for our rights.”
Although the event supports the same aim as the Sturgeon Bay protests, the organizers chose to call it a Women’s Walk rather than a protest. That way, residents who might be hesitant about the idea of protesting can feel more comfortable attending.
The event has been in the works for only a few days, with the three women first meeting on June 26 to start planning, but Cox has high hopes for community support.
“This is our way of being heard and seen,” Cox said.