There was a spur-of-the-moment protest, left, in the downtown plaza of Sebastopol on Tuesday, May 22, as a part of a national “Stop the Bans: Day of Action for Abortion Rights.” Organized by Katheryn Fong, the protest drew a passionate group of about 40 women (and one man). After a bit of milling about, the group formed a circle and began singing.

“I can’t sit by and watch women’s right to choose reproductive health care being quashed by extremists who hypocritically claim to support unborn fetuses, but will not support financially the children and their mothers after the births,” said Fong, seen above right with the Rev. Christy Laborda Harris of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

After Fong thanked everyone for coming, the women took turns standing in the middle of the circle telling their personal stories. One woman said her grandmother died of complications from illegal abortion. Others echoed her concerns: “I grew up in the era of coat hanger abortions, and I never want to see those days again,” said Brita Olson. “Women died or were never able to have children afterwards. We can’t go back.”

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