Sioux Falls’ Pro-Choice Protest: My experience.


Anna Anderson

To help protect safe, accessible abortion care for women in South Dakota, check local organizations such as Justice Through Empowerment Network or North Central Planned Parenthood.

Anna Anderson, Staff Writer

Roe vs. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling recognizing the decision of an individual to terminate a pregnancy is likely to be overturned according to an initial draft majority opinion, leaked by Politico earlier this month. Having been ingrained in American soceity for nearly 50 years, if this decision follows suit, this will not only cause major setbacks for all women across the nation related to sexual health, but also has the capacity to weaken reproductive care across the globe.

As an outcry to an infringement on their rights, protesters took to the streets in their local communities, having in the back of their mind the #BansOffOurBody movement, started by Planned Parenthood as a means for Pro-Choice America to voice their concerns. If this ruling is overturned, abortion is almost guarenteed to become an illegal act in South Dakota, as abortion has always maintained a political battleground in the state. Governor Kristi Noem, who has vowed to ensure the strictest abortion laws in the nation, will stop at no means necessary to warrant every hurdle possible for women to recieve reproductive care in the state, creating barriers especially difficult to overcome for indigenous women and women in  rural areas.

Sioux Falls, the largest city in the state, hosted a protest of their own, which was located at Van Eps Park. Before the protest began just after 4pm, many gathered holding various Pro-Choice signs, selling T-shirts and signing petitions. Protesters were able to be spoken too directly by ACLU South Dakotaś advocacy manager Jett Jonelis as well as the main organizer of the protest, Kaitlyn Fletcher. After the short introduction, protestors lined the streets of Minnesota Ave., holding their signs with echos of unanimous voices chanting “My body, my choice.” 

Shocking to popular belief, the reaction from most of the people driving by was a positive one. Of course, there were a handful of people giving us a thumbs down, flipping us off, and one person even tried to dump a beer on protestors, but the overwhelming support that was established by bystanders outweighed the negative responses. Men and women from all ages and demographics came out to support, which was very encouraging to see. I got the chance to speak to many different people, all who have had their own touching, positive personal experiences with the benefits of Roe. vs Wade and Planned Parenthood. Sioux Falls has offered to many South Dakotans including access to birth control and STD testing. 

Leaving both a lasting impact and a drive to keep abortion care in place for future generations, this march served as a reminder of how far we have come, and how going back is not an option.