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Candidates speak out for abortion rights at Lexington rally


The Rally For Your Rights drew several dozen people to the courthouse plaza in downtown Lexington Friday evening. Speakers included a number of Kentucky political candidates who voiced their support for abortion rights.

The Rally For Your Rights drew several dozen people to the courthouse plaza in downtown Lexington Friday evening. Speakers included a number of Kentucky political candidates who voiced their support for abortion rights.

kward1@herald-leader.com

When Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this year, Myriad Norris said she “felt as charged up as everybody else,” so she took action.

She organized a meeting for others interested in mobilizing in support of abortion rights, but besides her husband and baby, just one other person showed up: Carolyn Hassert.

Since then, the women said their grassroots group, Pride & Protest KY, which they said is a pro-LGBTQ+ and anti-racist organization, has continued to attract more and more people to its monthly gatherings.

On Friday evening, about 50 people gathered at the Rally for Your Rights at the Courthouse Plaza in downtown Lexington.

Their goal, Norris said, is “to empower people with information” and help them stay energized on the issue.

“We don’t want people to feel too overwhelmed by all of this,” Hassert said.

On Friday, attendees heard from political candidates who support abortion rights, representatives of other groups working to protect abortion access, Lexington singer Da Hotel Labi and others.

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Carolyn Hassert, left, and Myriad Norris, cofounders of the Pride and Protest Kentucky group, organized a Rally For Your Rights at the Fayette County courthouse plaza in downtown Lexington Friday evening. Speakers included a number of Kentucky political candidates who voiced their support for abortion rights. Karla Ward kward1@herald-leader.com

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Norris told those in attendance.

The main message speaker after speaker reiterated was the importance of voting in the November election and asking others to do the same.

They encouraged people to vote “no” to Amendment 2, the amendment to the Kentucky Constitution that will appear on the ballot in November.

The amendment states, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

Hassert told attendees that “if we get a couple of seats in the Senate and in the House, that’s a step in the right direction,” even if Democrats remain in the minority in the legislature.

“The progress begins at the local level,” Norris said. “We can make a change starting at the bottom up.”

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The Rally For Your Rights drew several dozen people to the courthouse plaza in downtown Lexington Friday evening. Speakers included a number of Kentucky political candidates who voiced their support for abortion rights. Karla Ward kward1@herald-leader.com

Councilman David Kloiber, who represents the 6th District on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council and is seeking to unseat Mayor Linda Gorton in the mayor’s race, told those in attendance that “there’s a lot of things to be hopeful about,” including recent news that a group working to defeat Amendment 2 had raised four times as much money to get its message out as a group in support of it.

He said another hopeful sign is Gorton’s announcement Thursday that she plans to vote “no” on amendment 2 and urges others to do so as well.

“We changed her mind,” Kloiber said. “We got her to come out and affirmatively say that.”

Kloiber has said that if he is elected, he would ensure that the city’s health insurance would cover out-of-state abortions for city workers.

“We can make a change, and it’s just 45 days away,” Kloiber said. “We need to vote in people who have the same principals as us.”

Lamin Swann, a candidate for state representative in the 93rd District, said political leaders who oppose abortion rights “are the people who are going to force a child to have a child and then nine months later call her a welfare mom.”

“Abortion is healthcare,” he said. “Let’s get the conversation going that we can have a voice for abortion in Frankfort.”

Other speakers at the rally who are running for office included Kentucky House of Representatives candidates Tommy Adams from the 73rd District, Dustin Burley from the 53rd and Debby Lucas Angel from the 61st, as well as Chuck Eddy, who is seeking election to the state Senate in the 22nd District and Josh Buckman, a write-in candidate from state Senate District 28.

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The Rally For Your Rights drew several dozen people to the courthouse plaza in downtown Lexington Friday evening. Speakers included a number of Kentucky political candidates who voiced their support for abortion rights. Karla Ward kward1@herald-leader.com

“It’s not just Democrats who support reproductive rights,” Eddy told those in attendance. “We must talk to our neighbors. Everybody’s concerned about their daughters’, their granddaughters’ reproductive rights.”





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