Hundreds turn out in Lynnwood to support women’s reproductive rights

Around 450 people marched attended the 2021 Women’s March in on 196th Street Southwest in Lynnwood.

Hundreds of pro-choice demonstrators lined 196th Street Southwest in Lynnwood Saturday afternoon to show support for women’s reproductive rights and protest recent legislative efforts to restrict access to abortion.

The 2021 Women’s March event Oct. 2 was one of more than 650 similar protests across the country. The demonstrations were primarily sparked by recent legislation in Texas banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to not rule the Texas measure unconstitutional.

On Saturday, demonstrators solicited honks from passing vehicles as they lined 64th Avenue West wearing pink and waving signs that said “My body, my choice” and “Abortion access for all!”

Demonstrators waived signs at passing vehicles.

The event was hosted by the Salish Sea Chapter of the Washington State Federation of Democratic Women.

“We need to have autonomy for our own bodies,” said Chapter President Cathy Baylor of Lynnwood.

Baylor said the organization was also calling for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would guarantee equal rights for women; protesting Next Step Pregnancy Services, a crisis pregnancy center in Lynnwood that she says attempts to dissuade women from seeking an abortion; and showing support for Planned Parenthood. 

The event was largely in protest to recent legislation in Texas banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

“(Planned Parenthood has) been doing a wonderful thing for us in our community,” Baylor said. “Every week, there are people who stand out and protest (the work of Planned Parenthood).”

Nearby, a couple of pro-life demonstrators held signs at the intersection of 196th Street and 68th Avenue. John Bywater, a Snohomish County resident, said he and others came out to counterprotest the Women’s March because they “love babies and hate abortion.”

Bywater said he and his friends regularly come to Lynnwood to protest abortion and instead offer resources like prayer counseling or baby supplies.

–Story and photos by Cody Sexton

  1. My Edmonds News, your bias is glaring in this non-editorial report.

    We do agree on one thing, “We need to have autonomy over our own bodies,” there is no acknowledgment that the baby being ripped head first from the protection of it’s mother’s womb is indeed a human life; a life with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is a twin still in the womb less of a person than her twin brother who has already been born? Is an infant less of a person that a teenager because she is less developed?

    Thalmidomide was drug prescribed for pregnant women with morning sickness until the 1960’s. But it was banned by the US Government when it was learned that one horrific side effect was children born with missing limbs. Bodily autonomy did not justify chemically mutilating children then, no does it justify killing them now.

    Abortion not only ends the life of a human being, it can cause grave physical harm to the mother and emotional harm to both the mother and father. We need to support the pregnancy resource center movement, which seeks to come alongside women, men, girls, and their families to provide accurate information, education, emotional support, and critical resources and referrals. They offer more than prayer and baby supplies.

    Unplanned pregnancy must be a scary, maybe horrifying condition. But there is help. There is also help for healing after an abortion.

    Let’s not diminish the fact that women with unwanted pregancies AND the babies inside them are humans and of great value.

    1. Thank you Tamara. The truth about abortion as well as the truth about pregnancy care clinics needs to be heard.

  2. Hey, what happened to “my body, my choice” when it comes to getting “the Jab”? It has always been a mystery to me that all of the people advocating ending the lives of the unborn, have actually been born.

  3. I was semi-pro choice until a I went to the Oregon Museum of Science and saw their exhibit. The argument wasn’t something I felt strongly about.
    https://youtu.be/cJT8YIsuEfk

    If a fetus needs heart surgery (in utero), surgeons do that. Insurance companies pay for it. Most people at this protest would argue that Medicaid-For-All should cover it. It’s an unscientific lie that it’s just one body.

    There’s a lot not to agree with about Pro Life arguments, but half of these woman would change their minds like I did after visiting the OMSI.

  4. Next Step Pregnancy Services in Lynnwood serves all. Women unexpectedly pregnant and those who are post-abortive and all in between including families simply needing help with diapers and a listening ear. I’d be willing to be bet none of those protesting on our street have ever set foot inside a pregnancy care clinic or pregnancy resource center let alone worked or volunteered in one. They have no idea what really happens there and I wonder if they even care.
    Thank you though, Women’s March, for shining a lot on our clinic. Got some wonderful calls over the weekend expressing interest in what we do. They did not know about us until they saw you all standing there on Saturday. So again, thank you. And I invite each one of you to come by for a visit. If truth matters – come on by. You’d be welcome.

    1. Interesting. Once, someone approached my preschool, asking for used baby items for Next Step in Lynnwood to distribute to expectant mothers in need,

      When the representative from Next Step came to my home to pick up the items we had collected, I had a nice long chat with her. In fact, she decided she liked me and could trust me.

      I was shocked after she leaned forward and whispered, conspiratorially, that I seemed to be a “nice” lady, so she could tell me that what they are REALLY doing was collecting these things to lure young women in so they could talk them out of abortions.

      You might think you can keep secrets, but really you can’t.

      Women deserve respect. They deserve to be given all the information they need, in an honest and objective way, so they can make appropriate decisions for themselves. It’s not up to anyone else to decide for them, either directly or through deception and manipulation.

      1. False. When was this? Who was this individual? You spread lies and fear. I know you Cathy.
        Those items that are brought to Next Step by the community are for families (expecting or not). If they wanted an abortion why would the “lure” of used onsies stop them?
        You are right though. They deserve honesty and facts and the chance to understand their options rather than be told they have no options and can’t succeed. Next Step does not profit from a woman’s decision. The other side can’t claim that.
        Come to Next Step. See for yourself. There are no secrets. Truly. Come on in if you want the truth.

        1. Next Step is listed in many resources as a Crisis Pregnancy Clinic (CPC). Here is what the American Journal of Medicine Ethics Journal says about CPCs:

          “CPCs have received criticism from lawmakers, physicians, scholars, and reproductive rights organizations for many of their practices [2, 3, 11]. They … appear as sites offering clinical services and unbiased advice. Lay volunteers who are not licensed clinicians at CPCs often wear white coats and see women in exam rooms [3, 8]. They also purport to provide medical advice on a variety of issues, including sexually transmitted infections, early pregnancy, and abortion [3, 8]. Because centers are sometimes located close to abortion clinics and have names and logos similar to nearby abortion clinics, women could mistakenly seek care there rather than at the intended clinic. They … seek to target women who are most likely to seek abortion, particularly low-income women and women of color [12]. These strategic practices appear designed to mislead abortion clinic clients [3, 8]. …, most CPCs are not licensed [9, 13], and their staff are not licensed medical professionals [13]. CPCs that are not licensed medical clinics cannot legally be held to the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) [3], which could lead to violations of client privacy. … Some CPCs have adopted a “Commitment of Care and Competence” statement that is provided by umbrella organizations, such as Heartbeat International and Care Net [16, 17]. This statement includes provisions on patient confidentiality and accurate clinical information; however, adoption of these guidelines is optional and adherence is not regulated or enforced [3]. Perhaps most worrisome, regardless of whether a particular location is licensed, CPCs engage in counseling that is misleading or false [8]. Despite claims to the contrary, these centers do not meet the standard of patient-centered, quality medical care [18]. The counseling provided on abortion and contraception by CPCs falls outside accepted medical standards and guidelines for providing evidence-based information and treatment options. For example, CPCs often suggest a link between abortion and subsequent serious mental health problems [3],

  5. Many churches and religious men used to help women in trouble before the 1970’s. In 1973 a bunch of old white conservative men decided they needed a new boogeyman to keep women down. “Pro life”was born.

    1. My point which you missed is the church used to help women instead of treating them like brood cows. Big money in the buying and selling of children.

  6. Legal abortion in America is the modern day equivalent to slavery back in the 1800s.
    Slavery was a moral and ethical affront, yet accepted at the time because of its convenient social and economic benefits.
    Blacks at the time were not considered people with rights, or at least not fully so. I recall they were defined as 3/5ths of a white person in some legal contexts.
    Unborn humans are not yet fully considered people with rights, but they absolutely should be. I believe that when we reawaken morally, the people of the civilized world will look back at this present time of legal abortion with disgust and disappointment, just as we view our past slavery behavior today.
    Women who today believe that they should have full autonomy over their bodies must understand that their responsibility begins at the beginning, offering the opportunity for a new life only when accepting the possibility of raising a child to birth and beyond. The baby in the womb is not the woman’s own body, it is entirely another individual entitled to the most basic rights of civilized human existence, that of life and liberty until it dies a natural death.
    Telling someone today not to be own slaves sounds ridiculous, but it’s what I hope we can soon feel about telling someone not to kill a baby in utero.

  7. I wonder if all these pro abortion rights advocates, my body my choice advocates also support the vaccine mandate? Given the politics of the day my assumption would be that they do. It would be interesting to test my theory out and see if that is an accurate assumption.

    In regards to the abortion issue, has anyone ever asked themselves “do you wish your mom aborted you?” I am indifferent about the law, but my main beef in all of this is who speaks for the unborn child? Where is their say in the matter? I would assume that the majority of people who are alive on this earth today would hope their mom decided not to abort them. If I am wrong in this, I stand corrected.

  8. Odd no one can reply to Cathy. Again though – put your actions where your mouth is. Come see a pregnancy resource center. See what we see everyday. Work with our licensed nurses and docs. You can cite articles til you’re blue in the face. Until you’ve walked in my shoes…
    What must you have gone through to make you this way I wonder. Come see us. You would be welcome.

    1. Not sure what you mean about no one being able to reply to Cathy. All replies have been approved. — Teresa

      1. The reply button (word) is not there. Only the small grey X. On just her entries, no one else’s. Perhaps its a glitch. Maybe its my phone and my desktop. Who knows.

        1. Heather, replies can only go on for so long because of the indentation. It’s not a glitch, and it’s not your phone or desktop; it’s the same for everyone because of the indentation. If my calculations are correct, you won’t be able to “reply” to this post of mine because of the indentation.

  9. Pregnancy affects only women, and that’s why they have a right to choose. Their choice is difficult, but not harmful to everyone in the community. When a woman carries a child it affects her life for years.

    A man man makes a woman pregnant and may not commit to financial help or involvement, and a woman may shoulder responsibility and expense of a child for years. Is society ready to commit support for all pregnant women, single mothers, or those with many children? Is society ready for laws that hold men accountable for making a woman pregnant? Men and society need to share the responsibility OR give the woman choice.

    Vaccines don’t care what your age is or who you are, and no one can “abstain” from passing on a virus that harms or kills. There’s a big difference to being vaccinated and getting pregnant. 🙂

    1. Pregnancy does not only affect women unless you are referring to just the physical aspect. No one is disputing its a difficult choice. And no one is disputing that these women who choose life need help during and after the birth. And lastly no one is disputing that men need to be held accountable for the children they help create. Absolutely.

      No one is arguing those points. What I am saying is that no amount of difficulty or blame or lack of help justifies the murder of a child.

      There is help out there. Tons of it. Society needs to stop pretending the help is not there or is ‘religious’ or deceptive or not medically sound. None of those are facts.
      PRCs are real, true, and medically approved. In many cases accredited and in all cases full of qualified individuals whose goal is to care for women and their children and to empower them to succeed – as mothers and as women.
      We’re here. Everyday. Helping men and women both with their unborn children, their other children, the children they may have lost through abortion or miscarriage, in whatever way we can help. We do. Check us out.

    2. Pregnancy affects everyone, not just women. Yes, the choice is difficult and it does affect their life, but it also affects the man who also participated and the extended family members who may have to help support the child. Also, men are obligated by the court to financially support the woman and child till the child reaches age 18. That is the law and I support enforcing that law 100% and holding them accountable as well. Pregnancy also affects the child who could be aborted. They have no say in the matter and are at the whim of whatever the mother chooses (that is what I assume the Pro Life Movement is about…giving a voice to the unborn and fighting for their rights). Also, what if the father wants the baby? Where is his choice in the matter? His body and DNA participated in the exercise as well. Just because the woman carries the baby does not mean she is the only one affected and has complete domain over the decision.

      In regards to vaccinations, the COVID vaccine does not prevent anyone from getting COVID. People who are vaccinated get COVID every day (I know of many). What the vaccine does is lower your risk of getting a severe case of COVID and possibly dying from it. The vaccine protects the receiver of the vaccine, not those around them. So in essence forcing someone to get a vaccine to protect themselves is like forcing someone to carry a child they don’t want because it only affects them as you say. In the end if you use the mantra, my body my choice but don’t practice it in other areas, it seems hypocritical to me. In short, if you don’t like other people telling you what to do with your body, then don’t contradict yourself and do the same. That’s my main point 🙂

  10. I stopped feeling strongly about abortion after high school. However, it still says a lot to me that people who claim to support “choice” are protesting an organization that does nothing except offer women an alternative choice. One of the many liberal arguments in favor of abortion is that single mothers have too few resources. Well, in that case why protest an organization that offers women those resources. It seems to me most “pro choice” activists are more “pro abortion” activists who are not only opposed to law preventing abortion, but are also opposed to any substantial portion of the population even thinking that abortion is a moral wrong.

  11. If women felt so supported in having a child, why do you suppose so many of them demonstrated peacefully in s all over the country on Sunday? Why a very elderly grandma carried a sigh saying, ” I didn’t think II’d still be debating this issue again.” Why did women demonstrate in Texas if they felt supported? Why are single mothers struggling if men support the child they fathered? Why do we have so much child hunger in our country? If two men want a child, it still takes a woman, or am I missing something? This is a discussion for women, and for what’s really happening. It doesn’t seem that they feel supported.

    1. Your argument, which has merit seems to address another topic other than abortion. Shouldn’t the effort be focused on men not supporting their children and being held accountable? Or, the system that allows a child to be hungry and without food? Shouldn’t these women be protesting outside a dead-beat Dad’s house instead of an abortion clinic. Aborting a child does nothing to solve this. The only thing it does is punish the child, the mother an everyone involved. Having 100 women outside a dead beat dad’s house calling him out would have a much bigger impact on the situation and bring awareness to it than ending a potential child’s life behind closed doors in the shadows, which in the end accomplishes nothing.

      Additionally, if two women wanted a child, they would need a man or at least a donation from a man. Either way it takes a man and a woman to create a child and therefore both are responsible, and both need to make that choice, and both have the right to participate in this debate. But let’s go back to my main point…. if my body my choice crowd (aka Pro Abortion) supports this mantra then why don’t they support it with a vaccine mandate as well? It goes against everything they supposedly stand for.

  12. This is certainly a charged issue, but
    If reasonable people on both sides came together and looked at ways to reduce the need for abortions, than you could actually get positive progress for both sides.

    In general one of the more interesting things is that abortion opponents don’t spend more time trying to reduce abortions rather than restrict them.

    Abortions are going to happen whether they are legal or not. If you reduced the cost of child care, and increased access to birth control, than there would be fewer people seeking abortions.

    The interesting thing is that some of the same people opposing abortions are the same ones that advocate for policies that increase the number of people who would seek them.

    It is counterproductive to oppose abortions, but actively support policies that increase the number of abortions.

    Many in the pro life crowd are so interested in making sure that children are born, but take very little interest in the level of societal care of the child after that. If people cannot care for a child, they are less likely to want to keep that pregnancy.

    If you ban abortions, you just have less safe abortions. They will still happen, but more people will die as a result of the ban. The fact is that a country that bans abortions is just more immoral and unjust.

    If we wanted to reduce abortions, there are far more effective ways than just blaming those who get them.

    – birth control access
    – cost of childbirth
    – cost of childcare
    – minimum wage increase
    – cost of housing
    – education
    – cost of healthcare
    – food assistance

    1. Seems extremely counterproductive to protest outside of an organization that does some of exactly what you state is needed. Providing assistance to women and their babies and children after birth.
      Every pregnancy care clinic provides help for every child. Be it tangible items or help with housing, childcare, job referrals, and even engaging in peer groups and counseling. All 100% donation run.
      As far as working to reduce rather than restrict – well we do both.
      Reduce by ensuring women are informed and educated on their options. Their real options. Not just the one option PP touts. Encouraging women to choose life for their children and walking along side them – no matter their choice.
      Restrict because it’s murder. Plain and simple. I see heartbeats everyday. I see tiny faces and arms and legs. We measure a heartbeat. It’s there. Where there is a heartbeat (as early as 5 1/2 weeks) there is life. Life that deserves a chance.
      As far as your list of effective methods – sure all good on paper. And there is assistance (free or low cost) for some of those things. For the others – well what can you or do you do about them? There is a lot of change that needs to happen and a lot of folks who can do it if willing. The “prolife folks” can’t do it all. There’s enough need to go around.

    2. It seems that, once again, there is division on this issue.
      And I will say again:
      Sex education (including intimacy, boundaries, mutual respect, and much more) in our schools and in our society at large need to improve.

      Planned Parenthood services are much-needed (ALL of them, not just three percent which are abortion).

      Abortions should be safe for ALL, if chosen.

      I recently learned that Gold Park which is near Sprouts Market, is named after a couple. Between the 60’s and 80’s there was a clinic on that lot, in which Barbara was a childbirth educator and much more, and Morris was a physician. In 1962, one of the births was filmed and used as a tool to educate high school students. In this clinic, both births and abortions services were provided, when those choices were made by their patients. I appreciate this bit of history, but I know that others will not.

      I also agree with what Carol McMahon wrote in the Lynnwood edition of Teresa Wippel’s publications. Very easy to check that out.

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