Women’s March Kern County was one of over 60 Women’s March chapters raising their voices through speeches and performances Saturday morning. It was what the organization referred to as a safe space for people to show their support for reproductive rights, in the wake of Texas’ SB8 law, which bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected.
Artist, realtor, student and activist Crimson Skype said their event in Kern county was important, when other states are considering following suit, one by one challenging Roe v. wade.
“It’s fine for someone to not believe in abortion, it’s fine for someone to believe that is not okay for them, but we need to make sure people have safe access to do that,” Skye said.
Over a 100 marchers took over 1000 steps from the Kern County Veterans memorial right to the liberty bell at Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield.
“Sometimes people think, oh we’re in California, it’s so liberal,” Bakersfield College nursing professor Noelia Citlialin said. “But I feel that right now, with Ruth gone and Amy in, no state is safe, no matter blue or red.”
Citlian spoke at Saturday’s march and rally. As someone with a mental health practice and experience working for Planned Parenthood, Citilian has seen through her clients how an unwanted pregnancy can add to the trauma of rape, human trafficking and incest.
“It’s really difficult for someone to have to continue a pregnancy because of the way they were hurt,” Citilian siad.
Citialin added that it's crucial to help the "most vulnerable among us."
“With SB8 going into law in Texas, for one, it’s going to hurt people who are low income, [and] it is possibly Blacks, Hispanics, because already they are faced with healthcare barriers,” Citialin said. “And with the low income they are unable to travel from Texas to another state to get a safe abortion. That is the key word there: safety, because when women get desperate enough, maybe they're faced with a situation that is really none of anybody's business, they might go to desperate measures."
23ABC did reach out to to a pro-life group in the area to see if they had any comments on the march and rally today, but they were unable to interview or provide a statement by the time this story aired.