As “Stop the Bans” rallies take place nationwide, in a cool, rainy Fort Wayne, protesters took too a local coffee shop to write letters to political leaders, and media outlets, on why they’re against the restrictive abortion measures that have made recent headlines.
In the middle of a crowded coffee shop, five women huddled around laptops. One of them was Jessica Bunch, the Fort Wayne community organizer with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky. She sat at the head of the table, answering questions about abortions in Indiana.
Bunch says that while it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on in the south, the same kind of restrictions are happening in the midwest in states like Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. In Indiana, she says the Indiana House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1211 and State Bill 201, also known as the Indiana Health Provider Ethical Exemption Bill are concerning to her and other abortion rights activists.
“This is not the direction we want our state, or our city move in, so we’re discussing what kind of steps, what kind of next steps can we do,” Bunch said.
Planned Parenthood closed its health center in Fort Wayne last year, blaming intimidation and harassment by supporters of anti-abortion groups, even though the health center in the city did not provide abortions.