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Women's groups in West Palm Beach rally to defend reproductive rights

Alison Turkos, Morgan Hopkins, Ravina Daphtary
J. Scott Applewhite
FILE - In this June 27, 2016, file photo, abortion rights activists rejoice in front of the Supreme Court in Washington as the justices struck down the strict Texas anti-abortion restriction law known as HB2. Texas abortion providers who won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2016 that blocked a new wave of anti-abortion efforts are now using that decision to try undoing laws on the books for decades in a lawsuit filed Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Women’s empowerment groups in West Palm Beach and across the country have joined forces to defend reproductive rights.

Pro-choice advocates say the "Rally for Reproductive Justice" is a call to action against the recent anti-abortion law in Texas and similar legislation proposed in Florida. They say a law in Texas that bans abortions as early as 6 weeks into a pregnancy violates their freedom.

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Dana Aberman, founder of S.E.E, which stands for Support, Educate, and Engage, says 21 local women's groups are marching in response to the proposed Florida Heartbeat Act — a bill similar to the Texas law.

"We believe that women should have the right to make choices about their own bodies and that people should people should not be able to control women’s bodies, lives and future," Aberman said.

The rally is scheduled for the West Palm Beach Waterfront on Clematis and Flagler Saturday at 3 pm.

It includes groups like Panned Parenthood, Freedom Fighters 4 Justice, National Council of Jewish Women, and the PBC Human Rights Council.

Aberman says pro-choice advocates argue that most women don’t know whether they’re pregnant at 6 weeks or have missed a period. She says the groups believe the anti-abortion law in Texas is too strict and "it was to make it significantly more difficult to get access to healthcare and abortion care."

The groups are also paying close attention to U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade later this year.

Wilkine Brutus is a reporter and producer for WLRN and a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute. The South Florida native produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs.