On Saturday I did something that I don’t normally do these days. I went to downtown Boise. I felt it was important to show up, in Boise, Idaho, for women’s right to necessary healthcare, including abortion.
I don’t really like going out in crowds, but I wanted to be there.
Hard to get out the door, but when I arrived, I was glad I had taken those steps and biked myself downtown. There were more people than I expected, and I kind of wandered around the perimeter to try and find a good place to take a picture of the stage from.
I made it to a spot on the grass and turned around, totally focused on getting a picture of the speaker at the podium instead of just a bunch of the backs of people’s heads. Then I heard my name.
I don’t know a lot of people in Boise, but I had just happened to plant myself right next to one that I did know, and I completely didn’t see her when I walked by. I think I was generally avoiding eye contact. A smug looking white guy walking around with a sign reading “Planned Parenthood Is Black Genocide” gave me an early case of the creeps.
So I ended up staying at that spot with my acquaintance during the remainder of the rally. Then when we went on the march, I stuck with them and we hung out talking for a while after. Mingling with the crowds from a distance.
I’m glad I went, in part because it was good to see so many people come out – the estimate I found on the news was 5000. And it was very interesting to run into someone that I knew, in a nearly literal sense. I mean, I almost stepped on her toes.
I read that there was a rally in support of banning abortion at the Capitol later that afternoon, but it must not have been well attended, because I can’t find any mention of how many people showed up, or even anything about that rally other than it existed. That’s also heartening.
And yet, it doesn’t really matter. Because the women (and men) who showed up to support abortion access are not in charge in the state of Idaho. We can be loud and we can show up, but it does feel like we’ll just be ignored by those whose interest lies in preventing women from being fully endowed with rights.