Keep Abortion Legal

Su Mendez, an activist with the National Organization for Women and National Women’s Liberation, holds a sign and waves at passing vehicles at an abortion rights protest on University Avenue and 13th Street on Tuesday.

Horns blared and engines revved Tuesday night on the corner of 13th Street and West University Avenue while protesters clustered on the corner of campus cheered.

The group gathered to  protest a Senate bill that would require women to go through a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion.

The protest, which was co-sponsored by the National Organization for Women and National Women’s Liberation, lasted from 5 to about 6:45 p.m. 

At its peak, about 40 people stood at the intersection holding signs with slogans like “abortion and miscarriage are not crimes” and “stand up for women’s rights!”

“There’s no medical reason to have a 24-hour waiting period,” said Amy Coenen, an NWL organizer. “It forces a woman to spend more time on a procedure that takes 10 minutes and is safer than childbirth.”

The protesters were also demonstrating to speak out against the arrests of women who had or were seeking abortions.

“A lot of these women who have been arrested didn’t have access to abortion through traditional means,” Coenen said. “What the Florida Legislature is doing is just part of the national trend to make it harder for women to have abortions.”

Lucia Soto, a 23-year-old UF sociology senior, was one of the protesters and said the bill, SB 724, is just one in a series of attacks against women’s bodies.

“The way I see it is it’s a very good way to erode Roe v. Wade,” Soto said. “It doesn’t seem so obvious that these things are going on, but they’re slowly chipping away at it.”

NWL will hold a strategy meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at 14 E. University Ave. near University Club, said Candi Churchill, an NWL organizer.

“(Change is) not going to happen because we’re on the street corner one day,” she said. “We have to build a movement.”

[A version of this story ran on page 14 on 4/22/2015]

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Cyanne Dunn

Cyanne Dunn is a 22-year-old staff writer for the Alligator and a journalism and history senior. She covers administration and commission, and she loves baking and large dogs.