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Women ‘are in the fight of our lives’ speaker says during rally at Bellingham City Hall

Bellingham rally for women’s abortion rights, health care draws crowd

About 500 people, mostly women, rallied outside City Hall at noon Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in downtown Bellingham, Wash., in support of abortion rights and health care for women.
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About 500 people, mostly women, rallied outside City Hall at noon Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in downtown Bellingham, Wash., in support of abortion rights and health care for women.

About 500 people, many of them women, rallied outside Bellingham City Hall at noon Tuesday in support of abortion rights and health care for women.

Speakers included Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, 42nd District state Rep. Sharon Shewmake, D-Bellingham, 40th District state Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, and Jenn Mason, a member of the Bellingham school board.

“We are in the fight of our lives,” said Jessica Hay, spokeswoman for Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood, which was one of the sponsors of the local rally.

Bellingham’s rally joined protests in more than 350 U.S. cities against laws passed in several conservative states as part of an effort to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave women the right to abortion.

“We own every inch, every hair, every cell of our bodies — and that is a cause worth fighting for,” said Mason, who’s also co-owner of Wink Wink erotic boutique in Bellingham.

Lovelett promised the crowd that she intends to continue fighting in Olympia for reproductive rights and accurate sexual health information for students.

Shewmake ridiculed statements made by some conservative legislators as laws were debated in Alabama, Missouri and other states.

“Have they spoken to women?” she asked. “Like, it’s not that hard. Maybe we need sex ed.”



Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.
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