Local organizations host march for reproductive rights in Neptune Beach

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla — Community members took part in a march for reproductive rights Saturday morning in Neptune Beach.

The march was hosted by the Jacksonville National Organization for Women, A Woman’s Choice, Florida Access Network and the Beaches Activists Movement.

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In Florida abortions are banned after 15 weeks - a new law that went into effect on Friday.

Cynthia Smith shared why she chose to march on Saturday with her family.

“For the right to an abortion, for healthcare for all and for womens rights essentially -- and for her to grow up in a world where she has all kinds of healthcare,” Smith said.

Smith expressed why it’s important to become informed about the decision being made at local, state and national levels.

“Knowledge is power,” Smith said. “When you have the knowledge, you have the power to act for yourself.”

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On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade giving power to the states to set abortion polices.

This led to emotions on all sides of this conversation -- many praising the decision, many outraged and others taking matters to state courts.

On Thursday a Florida judge ruled the state’s 15-week abortion ban as unconstitutional.

The judge plans to block the ban, but until a signature is made -- nearly all abortions are banned in Florida after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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Action News Jax spoke with Mary Ann Bryan. She has five children, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

“I believe in a woman’s right to control her body,” Bryan said.

Bryan held a sign that read “94 and furious.”

Here’s what went through her mind when Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“I was very saddened by it and the feeling that we are regressing instead of progressing,” Bryan said.

Madelyn Malin also attended Saturday’s march.

“I’m only 16, and I’m worried for my future and what implications this has for me, my sisters and my family,” Malin said. “It impacts fathers, sons and brothers too.”

The group stopped at Jarboe Park where organizers led speeches and calls to action before marching back to where they started.

Also read: Judge to block Florida abortion ban; Kentucky ban on hold

Watch it live: Local organizations host march for reproductive rights in Neptune Beach


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