Hundreds of South Dakotans gathered in downtown Sioux Falls yesterday to protest South Dakota’s ban on abortion and the concomitant demotion of women to second-class citizens who lack the intelligence and dignity to make their own reproductive decisions. The inopportune comment of the rally came from April Carrillo, member of the Equality South Dakota board of directors and assistant professor of political science at the University of South Dakota:
Black, brown and indigenous women have been fighting this fight for years. If you’re white, sit down and listen to the Black, brown and indigenous women [April Carrillo, tweet-reported by Annie Todd, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.07.10].
When you have a rally that gets hundreds of South Dakotans to overcome their Midwestern niceness, not to mention their innate and entirely just summer Sunday aspiration to go to the lake, and make good trouble on a hot Sioux Falls street at high noon, one of the last things you want to do is tell the majority of them to “sit down” and be quiet. Do not create divisions or hierarchies or priorities. Make all of the protestors in that crowd feel their voices are of equal importance, that they all have a vital role in speaking truth to power and overturning this unjust law.
Abi Benson and her daughter Willa were also in attendance. They say it’s important to show support for women regardless of political beliefs.
“Even if they’re not engaged in politics and even if they don’t have skin in the game. Knowing that they can fight for their wives, their mothers, their daughters,” said Abi Benson, Sioux Falls resident [Baylee Peterson, “Planned Parenthood Hosts Abortion Protest in Sioux Falls,” KSFY, 2022.07.10].
South Dakota’s abortion ban is a grave injustice. Let’s not let talk of other injustices that we have to solve disrupt our focus on rectifying this injustice. Let’s raise every voice to overturn this bad law and restore women’s rights to control their bodies.