TUCSON, Ariz. — A national debate made its way to Tucson Tuesday as part of pro-choice protests organized nationwide.
The protesters, who joined two rallies downtown starting at noon, organized after Alabama and several other states passed some of the strictest abortion bans in the country.
“My body. My decision. My right.”— Veronika Vernachio (@vvernachio) May 21, 2019
Protestors are holding signs by the street. They say they’re trying to send the message that they refuse to go back to when they had to fight for women’s rights. @kgun9 pic.twitter.com/IZ6x3TYILv
The abortion laws they're protesting haven't gone into effect and most are being challenged in court, but protesters say they want to keep it that way.
"The government has no right to dictate to someone what they can and can not do in a medical situation and for a woman to seek an abortion, that's a medical situation," Tucson protester Eileen Seman said.
ANOTHER ABORTION LAW BAN PROTEST: this is the second protest today. This one started at 4 p.m.— Veronika Vernachio (@vvernachio) May 21, 2019
I’ll be live here at 5 p.m. with a look at both protests today, and what Tucsonans on both sides of the issue have to say if these laws were proposed in Arizona. @kgun9 pic.twitter.com/IhpUCAB64b
But not everyone agrees -- including Lucy Smith, a volunteer with the group Pro Love Tucson.
"We would say no abortions," she said. "We believe in the preciousness of life and that every life has a plan, God has a plan for those lives even if there was a rape or incest, anything like that."
Arizona laws say women can get an abortion up to 22 weeks, and beyond that only if there is a medical emergency.
Recently, governors in Kentucky, Missippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved de facto bans on abortion. Missouri made it illegal up to eight weeks, and Alabama made it a felony in all cases including rape and incest.
Supporters of those laws want to see Arizona follow suit.
"We believe that it is murder, murdering an innocent life," Lucy Smith said.
Protesters like Steve Brown in downtown Tucson Tuesday said making it illegal is dangerous.
"When abortion was illegal, it didn't stop it from happening, it just made it dangerous to the women," he said.
As of right now, Arizona lawmakers have not introduced any similar laws in the state legislature.