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Speakers at anti abortion rally in Boise call for continued action on the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade: 'We have even more left to do.'

An octagonal sign reads "I believe in life," while a large crowd faces speakers at a podium set up on the steps of the Capitol in Boise. The day is sunny.
Julie Luchetta
Boise State Public Radio
A few hundred people met up on the steps of the Capitol for a "March for Life" rally in celebration of the recently repealed Roe v. Wade decision.

On the weekend of the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a few hundred anti-abortion advocates gathered at the Idaho State Capitol to celebrate the repealed Supreme Court decision that granted women the right to an abortion.

Several speakers took turns addressing a crowd of about 500 people from a podium set on the steps of the Capitol.

“Today, Roe versus Wade is no longer law,” said anti-abortion activist Megan Wold, as the crowd cheered.

The “March for Life” rally was one of many organized across the country.

“As much as we have to celebrate, and it is a great deal, we have even more left to do. Because in truth, Dobbs is not the culmination of the pro-life movement, but its second beginning,” Wold said.

About three dozen people stood on the sidewalk across the street while she spoke, shouting pro-abortion access slogans and holding a large banner that read “Abortion is healthcare.”

“We must act fearlessly,” Wold said. “We must vote, share our views on life, including by persuading our friends and families and neighbors. We must continue our prayers and our vigils, and we must march at events like this to show that the pro-life movement is also strong, also motivated, and will not stop acting to protect life.”

Kathy Willard, holding a sign saying “I believe in life,” said she was ecstatic when Supreme Court judges returned the decision to restrict or protect abortion to states.

“I come from a family of lawyers and so it was a frequent topic of discussion,” Willard said. “I'm so glad that finally God touched their hearts and they let it go.”

Idaho allows abortions only in the case of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is endangered. Willard, who is Catholic, said she did not believe in abortions for any reasons.

“I have to go with all of the women who have chosen to have the babies,” she said. “There are so many instances where mothers have given up their lives for their child, which I think is beautiful,” she added.

Willard said her stance on abortion remained unchanged in the case of children who are raped.

“I realize as we get into the puberty years, starting probably nine or ten years old, it happens. But no, I don't, I still don't believe in abortion,” she said. “I am just adamantly pro-life. I believe in life. And God will provide a way for those young people.”

The day before, House minority leader Representative Ilana Rubel spoke in favor of abortion access in front of a small crowd of mostly women gathered at the Capitol.

“I believe it is fundamental and credible to any reading of the Bill of Rights that a state government should be barred from commandeering your body organs against your will.”

“These laws are dangerous and they are damaging,” she said, “but the damage they have done can be undone. What is passed can be repealed, and they will be if enough people raise their voices and cast their votes.”

GOP legislators are considering bills that would amend the current abortion law, including one that would allow abortions for ectopic pregnancies and if a fetus died in utero.

Find reporter Julie Luchetta on Twitter @JulieLuchetta.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.