About 2,500 people rallied at De la Guerra Plaza on Saturday in support of abortion access and reproductive freedom during a rally hosted by Planned Parenthood and the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party from noon to 3 p.m.
The rally was held in response to a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion which was reported by Politico on May 2. The leaked draft indicated that the Supreme Court plans on voting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Rally speakers included: Luz Reyes-Martin, Vice President of Community Engagement at Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, Rev. Julia Hamilton and Rev. Mark Asman of Clergy for Choice, Michal Lynch of Womens March SB, State Sen. Monique Limon, Rylee Williams of UCSB Planned Parenthood Generation Action, Erica Reyes (District Director for Congressman Salud Carbajal), Christy Stillwell of Dem Women of SB County, Catherine Swysen of Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, Wendy Sims-Moten of CAUSE and former State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.
“The rally was very well run. I think everything went really well. It was touching to see folks from the community of every age. It was good to hear from older folks who remember a time before Roe and what that was like. We had a really strong representation from young people. These older generations have fought for these rights and now it’s on the younger generation’s to keep this fight going,” Ms. Reyes-Martin told the News-Press.
“The rally was great. People are riled up and ready to do whatever it takes to protect access to abortion. It was good to hear from community leaders on this. It’s a dark time for abortion rights,” Darcel Elliot, Chair of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Party, told the News-Press.
“We are prepared on the Central Coast and our doors at Planned Parenthood are open. We aren’t backing down, we are doubling down. We are continuing to hire staff. The message that we are seeking to get to the community is that they can continue to come to Planned Parenthood to seek care. It is about maintaining access to care here in California and for those coming from other states,” said Ms. Reyes-Martin.