West Palm Beach “Bans off Our Bodies” abortion rights rally draws crowd

WEST PALM BEACH — The crowd of about 1,200 people who gathered at the Meyer Amphitheater for the area’s Bans Off Our Bodies rally Saturday came in groups three strong generations, grandparents and parents, men and women and babies.

They were there for more than 400 rallies across the nation, at least 20 across Florida, brought together by the threat revealed in the recent leak of a Supreme Court draft decision that would reverse the Roe vs. Wade ruling legalizing medical abortions almost 50 years ago.

Some said they were there to fight for a right they had known all their lives, some astonished, they said to be fighting again.

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Liz Haber Zambrano gestured toward her infant daughter.

“I’m here because I’ve never had to live in a world without Roe v. Wade, and I don’t want that for her,” she said.

“I’m here for all the women in my family,” her husband Fabrizzio Zambrano said. “It’s the least I can do.”

The Zambranos were not alone.

Maddie Dugan of West Palm Beach attends an abortion-rights rally and march sponsored by the League of Women Voters held at the Meyer Amphitheater in downtown West Palm Beach on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

“I’m here to inspire women from all over the world, especially from the Middle East, where I’m from, to stand up for their rights,” Ezgi Endam-Smith said.

“As a man of color in the United States,” Stefan Smith said, “It’s important to advocate for civil rights.”

How many people in the crowd, opening speaker Tara Pretends Eagle Weber asked, were we 60 years old, or older?

Across the field facing the stage hands waved.

“We knew people who had illegal abortions,” said Kathy Maxted, there with her husband.

“Kathy and I, we’ve done this,” John Maxted said. “It’s like, ‘What?’”

“I had two friends who died back in the day,” said Renae Van Wagner, who is 69. “My mom also went through an illegal abortion. We were lucky.”

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