A back of a woman in the foreground speaking outside to a group of women facing her holding signs saying #Fight4Her

Concerned citizens, politicians and activists participated in a rally and march July 19 to defend reproductive rights by raising awareness of the dangers that Trump’s Global and Domestic Gag Rules pose to women and families. The rally was sponsored by the Population Connection Action Fund.

In addition, they delivered to Sen. Rob Portman’s office more than 1,300 petitions, 12 local business endorsements, 200 photo petitions and 4 local elected official endorsements calling on the senator to protect reproductive health and rights.

The event was organized by #Fight4HER, a national campaign focused on mobilizing action against Trump’s Global Gag Rule and in support of the bill to block it, the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act.

A diverse group of Ohioans that are passionate about repro rights and access to comprehensive healthcare were in attendance, including Reps. Kent Smith and Kristen Boggs, Columbus City Auditor Megan Kilgore, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Central Ohio board member Bridgette Tupes, and OSU medical student Alexa Henderson.

This summer Columbus came together to stand up for reproductive rights by joining in the fight to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule by rallying support of the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act. 1,300 people signed petitions urging their elected officials to fight against Trump’s Global Gag Rule, which has had devastating consequences for women and people around the world. Trump’s Global Gag Rule defunds healthcare organizations abroad if they even mention the word abortion, leaving women without access to family planning, cervical cancer screenings, and HIV testing/treatment. The Global HER Act would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. 

Prabh Virk, organizer for the #Fight4HER campaign, said: “We're calling on Sen. Portman to support individuals’ ability to make their own choices about their health, and co-sponsor the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act to permanently repeal Trump’s dangerous Global Gag Rule.”

Rep Kristin Boggs said: “This Global Gag Rule doesn’t work! It does nothing! It does absolutely nothing to support the ending of abortion practices … This policy is not about ending abortion, this policy is about subjugating women and controlling women’s bodies … These policies are bad on an international scale, on a state scale. They are bad for women, they are bad for families.”

Megan Kilgore, Columbus City Auditor, said: “As an auditor I have a vested interested in the city’s economy, and economics and women’s rights are inseparable issues … Women can’t earn or learn if they don’t have access to healthcare.”

Alexa Henderson, medical students at OSU and national board member of Medical Students for Choice, said:“As we stand here today, the Global Gag Rule continues to threaten the lives of women around the world..Women’s health is the world’s health.”

Bridgette Tupes, board member of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Central Ohio, said: “…[Trump’s gag rule] violates medical ethics and does not give you the ability to access your own medical freedom.”