The Quad Cities chapter of the National Organization for Women and Scott County Democrats will collaborate in sponsoring two rally and march events in support of women’s reproductive freedom on Saturday, Oct. 8.
The first will begin at noon in Schwiebert Riverfront Park, at 101 17th St., in Rock Island and the second will begin at 2 p.m. in VanderVeer Botanical Park in Davenport, near the intersection of Main Street and West Central Park.
The Women’s March organization has designated Oct. 8 as a national day of protest. Marches will be held in dozens of communities across the country with a focus on Washington, D.C., according to a Monday release. But the Quad Cities Women’s March is believed to be the only bi-state event of its kind.
The purpose of these protests is to harness the political power of diverse women and their allies to create transformative social change, starting with the Nov. 8 midterm elections, said Monday’s release from organizer Ken Croken.
Speakers in Davenport and Rock Island will call attention to the adverse effects of abortion bans on women’s health as well as the social justice implications for women’s equality in 14 states where such bans are currently in place.
Over the coming weeks, it is expected that half of all states will ban or drastically restrict women’s access to abortion services, the release said. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds has petitioned the courts to reinstate a 2018 law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The governor’s action comes despite a recent Des Moines Register poll reporting that 60% of Iowans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
Organizers of the Rock Island gathering have dubbed the event “Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote” and T-shirts can be ordered HERE.
Speakers will include area pro-choice candidates, party officials and local activists, including Iowa U.S. House of Representatives candidates Christina Bohannon (Iowa) and Eric Sorenson (Illinois); Illinois Senate candidate Mike Halpin; Iowa Senate candidates Mary Kathleen Figaro and Deb Vangergaast; Illinois State House candidate Gregg Johnson; Iowa House candidate Phyllis Thede; local activist Kate Anderson; NAACP Rock Island Branch President Bonnie Ballard; event organizer Tracy Jones; and, a representative of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Among the speakers in Davenport are Bohannon, running for the U.S. House; Mary Kathleen Figaro, Cindy Winckler and Deb Vandergaast, who are seeking to fill three Iowa Senate district seats. Also present will be Iowa House candidates Monica Kurth, Kay Pence and Phyllis Thede.
Other speakers include Scott County Supervisor candidate Jazmin Newton and Scott County Recorder candidate Rita Vargas. Rita Hart, former Iowa State Senator, past Democratic Lt. Governor candidate and current Clinton County Democratic Party Chair, will speak as well as Jordan Franken, representing U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Mike Franken.