On Saturday, women in all 50 states are uniting against the War on Women and marching on their state capitols. Among them is a Bayside mom who is spearheading a minivan brigade to Madison, where women plan to hold hands and surround the Capitol from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Kelly Herda said recent legislative changes and what she calls outright sexist comments from local politicians are driving her to fight for the rights of her daughters.
"I have three daughters who, right now, are being told they’re second-class citizens," Herda said.
Earlier this month, Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) sponsored legislation that repealed the state's 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which gave victims of wage discrimination a better chance in court. Grothman was quoted in an article in The Daily Beast saying, "You could argue that money is more important for men."
"As a mother of three daughters, that’s unacceptable," she said. "They have a right to get paid the same way as any man. They have a right to protect and control their own bodies."
Reproductive rights have also been a hot topic. Gov. Scott Walker also signed into law Act 217, which potentially imposes criminal penalties against physicians who perform abortions. The act , sparking a firestorm of protest.
”I have three daughters who, right now, are being told they’re second-class citizens."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett — vying to challenge Walker in June's recall election — and former Brown County Executive Nancy Nusbaum opposing women’s rights. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) also stepped up to share her opposition to the War on Women in a press release.
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“Instead of focusing on the real issues facing Wisconsin families this session, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans continually pushed forward unprecedented, ideologically-driven attacks on women," the release said. "It is time that we work toward common-sense policies that will promote and enhance the health and well-being of Wisconsin’s women and communities — not harm them in favor of failed policies for politically-driven interests.”
Herda said: "I don’t know anybody in the whole wide world who’s going out and yelling, 'Abort your baby!' All we’re saying is it’s a woman’s choice."
Fight for women's rights bridges state boundaries
The march on Madison is just one of 50 taking place Saturday.
Edna Kunkel is a Wisconsin spokesperson for the United Against the War on Women movement, the national organization solidifying the states' local movements. She said the group plans to march on Madison and with enough women, surround the Capitol in one, large circle all holding hands.
"The support that we garner on April 28 can be measured by the number of feet hitting the ground that day and the number of voices speaking on our behalf," she said.
This only the beginning of the movements to fight the War on Women, Herda said. There will also be a national march on Washington, DC in September, however, the date has yet to be determined.
Want to join?
If you are interested in participating in Saturday's protest, contact Herda at firstname.lastname@example.org.