Hundreds of people from all over the Gem State came to the Statehouse for two different marches; the Boise March for Life and the Women’s March of Idaho.
BOISE, Idaho — It was a busy day outside the steps of the Idaho Capitol as two different rallies held marches on Saturday; the Boise March for Life and the Women’s March of Idaho.
Hundreds of people from all over Treasure Valley and the Gem State came to the Statehouse to make sure their voices were heard.
“Our goal is to help women and empower women,” said Heather Lawless, founder/CEO of the Reliance Center in Lewiston and speaker at the Boise March for Life. “Knowing that there are other people in the community and other people in Idaho who want to do the same — to love women, to empower them to make healthy choices — it encourages us to keep going.”
“The main goal is just to get people to come together and talk about issues that affect women, especially in Idaho,” said Yvonne Shen, co-founder of the Idaho Asian American Pacific Islander Youth Alliance. and speaker at the Idaho Women’s March. noted.
The 49th March for the Lives of Boise began events Saturday at 1 p.m. at Julia Davis Park in Boise, where throngs of people marched toward the Capitol.
Right to Life Idaho helps organize this event every year on January 22 for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. In a press release, organizers added that the march “commemorates the more than 60 million unborn children who have been lost since the infamous Supreme Court ruling.”
Lawless said this year’s rally was especially important to her and others who share similar beliefs, as a ruling is expected this year with Dobbs v. Jackson, the lawsuit challenging a Mississippi law banning abortion after the 15 first weeks of pregnancy.
“Our goal is to make sure mom, dad and family know they’re as loved as the baby,” Lawless said. “We don’t just want to eliminate abortion; we want to eliminate the need for abortion so women don’t feel they have to make that choice.”
Later Saturday at 4 p.m., other Idahoans gathered outside the Statehouse for another rally; the annual Idaho Women’s March. Organizers said this year’s march is focused on the next generation of leaders in the defense of women’s rights. They add that her events are an inclusive, non-partisan gathering of women and supporters who focus on empowering voices.
“We are all here for a cause and I hope we can come together and let this bring us together and use this power to create change,” Shen said.
Highlighting gender injustice at Saturday’s women’s rally was a goal for 14-year-old Shen. She said it was her first time participating in the Idaho Women’s March and she felt honored to ask to speak in front of the crowd. Shen said she became more involved in rallies and used her voice to spark conversations after anti-Asian attacks spiked over the past year.
“As women, we’re literally taught to be afraid in this world just so we can protect ourselves,” Shen said. “We were kind of taught to be afraid of all men to protect ourselves, which isn’t fair to anyone at all.”
The Women’s March chose to march on the sidewalk around the State Capitol building, instead of marching through downtown Boise as in previous years.
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