Florence, Huntsville hosts ‘My Body, My Choice’ rallies

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TENNESSEE VALLEY – Hundreds of people attended the “My Body, My Choice” rally at Butler Park in Huntsville Sunday afternoon, and many speakers shared their stories and opinions during the rally, but the main talking point of the rally was that everyone can make a difference.

Lisa Handback, a speaker at the rally, says she hopes everyone left feeling empowered.

“There’s a lot of feelings here today and putting those into action in a political sense because we know especially in recent years that elections have consequences and it’s important for people to be involved whether it’s in a small way or a big way,” said Handback.

Other speakers, like Jackie McGill, explained why they feel so strongly against the bill.

“All I could think about since the passing of this bill was my rape, and how if it happened now or in six months when this bill goes into effect I wouldn’t be able to terminate the pregnancy and it just, it was something I thought I had closure on but clearly didn’t,” said McGill.

McGill says even though her 14-year-old self didn’t have to have a child, she can’t imagine being in that situation today.

“No child should have to have their mother tell them that their father took her against her will,” said McGill.

After the Rally ended, many of the protesters said they left feeling inspired.

“Seeing all the people saying if I’m going to the Birmingham one or I’m going to the Montgomery one or people saying ‘Oh I’d come if I were closer’ that’s empowering. It lets me know that we all are on the same page, we’re actually wanting to make a difference,” said Autumn Aborn, one of the protesters.

While some protesters against the rally did show up, like Cheri Rose, they said they just wanted to voice their opinions as well and try to talk about their views.

“If you go online you’ll see a lot of people saying really hurtful things about pro-lifers that aren’t even true. It’s hurtful, it’s not conducive to anything. It’s divisive. So we’re here to just help put a loving, kind, gentle face to the pro-life cause,” said Rose.

Rose said she had many conversations with others at the rally and found that they had a lot of opinions in common, and she hopes more people will stop to listen to their side of the controversy.

The Huntsville Police Department says there were no injuries during the rally.

The conversation about abortion also took center stage in Florence, where more than 100 people also rallied for reproductive rights. “Beyond the Women’s March” and “Indivisible Northwest Alabama” organized the rally.

Activists for the sister rally in other cities stated their mission is to claim their reproductive freedom.