Abortion rights rally planned in DeKalb to mark 2 years since Roe overturned

June 22 event marks 2 years since Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and prompted action putting abortion rights in danger across the country.

Protesters wave to passing cars Friday, June 24, 2022, during a rally for abortion rights in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore. The group was protesting Friday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion.

DeKALB – It’s been almost two years since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a group of DeKalb-area activists plan to mark the anniversary with a rally aimed at mobilizing abortion rights voters ahead of the November election.

The demonstration planned by Responsive Engagement Activating Civic Talent will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. June 22 at Peace Corner and is expected to feature a lineup of speakers and musicians.

“It’s basically to call attention to how women’s reproductive rights in general are being compromised,” said Mary Cozad, who is organizing the event. “Not so much in the state of Illinois – we are so lucky to live in Illinois, I’ve got to say – but you know, nationwide.”

Cozad said she’s not concerned about losing any momentum that may have been lost since the Dobbs decision first came down handing a loss to abortion rights advocates.

“It’s important to keep calling attention to it just in case people forget,” Cozad said. “I know there are all kinds of things that I would not have thought that people could forget about, but it’s like something happened more than a year ago.”

Cozad said she believes the issue of abortion rights remains front and center for a valid reason.

“It impacts women’s lives personally, and especially if you’re of child-bearing age,” she said. “You may not be contemplating ever having an abortion, but you might know somebody who needs one. You might confront some other women’s health issues that are now in jeopardy. You may know somebody who wants same-sex marriage, and you’re worried about them still being able to do that. I think to a lot of women, it’s like we’re going back almost to the time before women had the vote. It’s denigrating women and their rights.”

Cozad emphasized that abortion rights is health care. She said that for too long, people have mistaken abortion rights for what it is.

“Although it’s still her body, her right,” Cozad said, “it’s like rights we have taken for granted for many, many years are being taken away from us.”

The rally will be co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County, Safe Passage and the DeKalb Area Women’s Center.

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