One Whitley County resident has helped organize a Pro-Choice Protest in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to eliminate the right to an abortion.
On Friday, the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, sparking a protest expected to take place in Nibroc Park this coming weekend.
Abbey Shackleford of Williamsburg said a riot or outburst isn’t the goal of the event, but she simply wants to give the community a place to gather to share their voices.
In Kentucky, The Human Life Protection Act advises that performing a prohibited abortion is a felony. This is also following the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. However, there is one exception. The act states an abortion can be performed to protect the life of a pregnant mother if a licensed physician determines in his or her “reasonable medical judgment” that it is necessary.
Shackleford said while Kentucky gives the exception of a life of a mother, there isn't any exception for rape or incest.
“I’ve worked in foster care and worked with kids for years. I cannot imagine one of my kids being raped and impregnated,” said Shackleford. “If you look at statistics, most of the time, rapes often happen within families or by someone you know. I cannot imagine a child at 12 or 13 to have to bear their abuser’s child just because the law states that’s just how it is. It’s heartbreaking.” She said, “I understand and I respect everybody, but I don’t think it needs to be forced on everyone else. Women deserve to have a choice.”
Shackleford said she believes there will be more deaths than life comes from the Court’s ruling. She stated she believes there will be parents who don’t want to be parents, resulting in more abuse and harm.
Shackleford added that there is also a foster parent shortage throughout the United States right now. are over 400,000 kids in foster care in the United States.
“We have over 400,000 kids in foster care in the country. People are not lined up to foster or to adopt and they’re not now and they’re not going to be even after this has happened,” said Shackleford. “It just doesn’t work like that. People aren’t just going to get pregnant and give the baby to you either, in most cases.”
As someone who has also experienced a miscarriage, Shackleford said she respects those who have empathy for an unborn child, but she feels empathy should be given to the pregnant mother as well.
“Locally, we see a lot of pro-life propaganda such as signs with ‘choose life’ or ‘choose adoption’ and you don’t really see anything that pertains to pro- choice around here,” said Shackleford. “I think it is important for the people in the local community to gather together and for them to see a number of people that support the right to choose.” She added, “People know places like Lexington, Louisville, and Knoxville have protests, rallies, and marches there and supporters there, but it’s not really represented here and I just think representation matters.”
The Pro-Choice Protest will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, July 2, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m in Nibroc Park, downtown Corbin.
Samantha Walden, Staff Writer at the Kentucky Daily