What began as an off-the-cuff idea I posted to Facebook has turned into a movement getting some serious news coverage. Here in Ohio our legislature has used the last days before the holiday recess to pass some very controversial laws regarding guns as well as women’s health choices. These laws have been previously found unconstitutional and will likely have to be revised or revoked if they take effect; the calculus being that a Trump SCOTUS appointment may overturn Roe v Wade via an attack like this one.
If Gov. John Kasich chooses to sign the legislation into law, or chooses to not take any action before Dec. 17, these bans will become law. So our hope is he will veto the bans, or line item veto them out of the otherwise no controversial parts of the legislation.
After days of calls into his office being ignored it felt as though something more visual and visceral needed doing. My thought was that we use the most gruesome image of the pre-Roe days; the wire hanger as abortion tool. In a similar manner as the pro-life movement parades photos of bloody fetal tissue to shock people into action, why don’t we shock our Governor into action. Perhaps reminding him of his youth prior to Roe; perhaps reminding him that he has daughters of his own.
More than anything, I wanted to take action for my own daughter’s future.
Since posting the idea to Facebook on Friday afternoon fellow pro-choice agitators gravitated to it. My friend Jess Matthews spread the word and by Saturday we had hundreds of wire hangers adorned with heartfelt messages pleading for the Governor to veto the so called Heartbeat bill.
Wob & organizer Andrew Miller with activist Jess Matthews
Saturday night the hangers were taken but activists quickly replaced them on Sunday as well as marching en mass with the media paying attention. Then again on Sunday night the hangers were once more removed but this time several of the activists reacted with a brilliant plan to order up hundreds of wire hangers to be delivered to the Governors office.
The list of local and national media coverage is growing but the short list below is what I’ve been involved in:
NY Magazine: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/12/people-are-protesting-ohios-abortion-ban-with-coat-hangers.html
WSYX ABC-6: http://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/protesters-use-wire-coat-hangers-to-protest-heartbeat-bill
This is a link to the original Facebook event page I had setup that included more photos and commentary: https://www.facebook.com/events/357579031278485/?ti=icl