Hundreds gathered in Luther Ely Square near the Gateway Arch to show their support for the pro-choice movement. Texas' new abortion ban caused a domino effect on the pro-choice movement across the nation, leading to St. Louis being just one of nine protests across the state and one of 600 across the nation.
The Stop the Bans Coalition was responsible for organizing the rally. Stop the Bans Coalition is made up of several activist organizations. A few noticeable names that make up the coalition are the Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, Access Missouri, Action St. Louis, ACLU of Missouri and Pro-Choice Missouri.
Reproductive freedom starts with abortion justice. We can neither live free nor can we achieve equity unless our bodies, our lives, and our future belong to us, not politicians," the coalition said in a statement. "We call on political allies, supporters, and public and private sector leaders to denounce any and all abortion bans here in Missouri and across the country. Silence is no longer an option. Its time for all of us to show up and fight back for abortion access, rights, and justice.
Supporters carried signs while speakers pledged a fight against restrictions on abortion. St. Louis County Councilwoman and Chair Rita Heard Days spoke at the event, as well as Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region Surgical Services Director Kawanna Shannon and the ACLU-MOs Alicia Hernández.
An eight-week abortion ban in Missouri is currently awaiting a decision from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Missouri is also one of five states with only one abortion clinic left.
Note: Photos in this gallery show the rally, along with pro-choice and pro-life protestors, but some of the photos may be upsetting for certain viewers due to a graphic sign.