Reproductive Rights, Climate Change Spur Women’s Marchers To Action

Betsy Taylor, right, holds up a sign at the Women's March on Washington, January 21, 2017.

WASHINGTON — Betsy Taylor, who lives just across the Washington, D.C., border in Maryland, has attended several protests on the National Mall over the years. But she estimated on Saturday that the Women’s March on Washington was the largest she had ever seen.

Holding a sign that read “Just say no to the groper in chief,” she told TPM that she felt it was “critical for us to stand up and say absolutely no to what Trump represents.”

Taylor, 60 (pictured above right), said that the march was “inspiring” and that she was largely motivated to protest due to climate issues. She works to promote solutions to climate change and runs a small business that promotes clean energy.

“They are going to try to defund climate science just as the scientists are screaming for attention,” Taylor told TPM.

At the center of the Mall before the march to the White House began, the pink-hat-dotted crowd stretched about as far as the eye could see. Cheers broke out periodically. At one point, a group of women perched on a stack of chain link fence began chanting “strong hearts, strong women” and “show me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like.”

Amore Selland, 60, flew to D.C. with her 15-year-old granddaughter on Friday night from Seattle. She said her plane was largely made up of women coming to the march and that she came to support her grandchildren.

“I have three granddaughters and I don’t want to see things go backward,” she said.

Selland stood with her granddaughter holding a sign bearing a quote from Maya Angelou: “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.”

Rochelle Kaplan and Ruthie Kranz-Carl, both 66, came with a group organized by the Kennett Area Democrats in Pennsylvania. They came with their husbands on a charter bus Friday morning. Both donned pink “pussyhats” and said they were largely motivated to come to the march to stand up for reproductive rights.

“I’m 66 and I can’t believe that I have to be concerned about reproductive rights for women,” Kaplan told TPM.

She noted that she was alive when abortion was legalized.

“I never thought women would have to go backward, but now I’m concerned,” she told TPM.

Kranz-Carl added, “I’m so happy to see so many young people that care.”

“Because I worry, particularly with women’s issues and reproductive rights, that those 20 or younger and more may take some things for granted that we fought hard for,” she said. “And I see that they’re not. I see that they’re willing to stand up and say, this is important to us.”

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