SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — People across the country are mobilizing to defend their reproductive rights. On Saturday, hundreds marched from historic Forsyth park down to City Hall in the name of abortion rights.
“We wanted to be in front of City Hall just to make a general political statement that this is a political issue that legislatures need to pay attention to,” said Melissa Viviana, an Organizer of Savannah’s March for Reproductive Rights. “We wanted our city councilmen, our Aldermen and Alderwomen to know what we were doing, we wanted the Mayor to hear what we were doing, not because it’s something they can fix but because this is a cultural issue.”
With Texas enacting a law that outlaws the option for abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, many fear of what might happen in other states if a federal law soon isn’t passed to protect the Roe v. Wade ruling across the country.
“Georgia could very much be the next Texas. We know that the Governor has said that he would pass a similar bill and wants to see a similar bill to what Texas has passed, so we know that is something that’s being debated and is very real to being taken away from Georgia,” said Laura Brooks, an Organizer of Savannah’s March for Reproductive Rights.
Even though march organizers say they spoke with law enforcement and members of city council about potential legal pushback prior to holding the march, immediately following, each organizer was ticketed for use of a speaker in public.
A move they say was disheartening — and one they hope will get dismissed in court.
“We really wanted to work in conjunction with the city and have goodwill and were doing it for the good of the city, I don’t know how many times I have to say that but this is community activism, this is something for the well being of these citizens so it’s not for any nefarious purposes,” Melissa Viviana said.
WSAV reached out to the Savannah Police Department about the incident and was told the situation was a misunderstanding and the organizers who received the tickets have been told they will not have to appear in court.