More than 300 people attended the Bans Off Our Bodies Rally May 14 in Grants Pass, including many Democrats who connected with others there who support a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions. Of course the RV Saltshakers, those annoying, noisy anti-abortion protesters obsessed with women, tried to disrupt the rally. Also, a Republican candidate for governor, Marc Thielman, took the opportunity to make a video of himself across the street at the Republican Headquarters saying “Hey I’m down here in Grants Pass at the Republican Headquarters for the celebration of my campaign at a Meet ‘N Greet and look who decided to bus themselves down and join me. Everyone across the street that you see is not from here in town. They’re all outside people that decided to come down and send a message…”
No one was bussed to Grants Pass to impress a third-rate candidate and it’s telling someone actually thought this community is so conservative no locals would dare attend a pro-choice rally or be unintimidated by noisy counter-protesters. The rally, on the steps of the Court House on 6th Street, was well organized with a place to get water and make signs. A woman’s right to choose is not in jeopardy in Oregon because Democrats in the Legislature have prepared for years for a Supreme Court reversal, according to House Speaker Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis.
In 2017 the Reproductive Health Act codified the right to abortion care into state law. It requires insurance providers to cover abortion costs for all women and guarantees the state will cover costs for those on Medicaid or are uninsured. This spring $15 million was appropriated to help Oregon clinics prepare for people from other states where the procedure has already been all but banned. However, those attending the rally were against the Supreme Court’s hinted possibility it might overturn Roe vs. Wade.
During the rally Democrats passed around event notices to people telling them of a Democrat’s Happy Hour set for the upcoming Wednesday at the Weekend Beer Company in Grants Pass. When Happy Hour arrived at 4:30 pm the Weekender was packed with Democrats grateful for the comradery. Democrats plan to make the Happy Hour a regular event at Weekender.