JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The 560-mile abortion-rights march, Walk for Our Lives, ends in Johnson City. 538-miles was the original estimate.
Walk for Our Lives is a protest and pilgrimage for abortion rights and bodily autonomy in Tennessee without government interference.
“Whether that is carrying to term or giving up for adoption or terminating that pregnancy,” said Executive Director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood and marcher, Francie Hunt. “Those decisions need to be left to that pregnant person and their family and their faith and doctor.”
Hunt is a mother and wants her daughter to have the same rights as she did growing up.
“Women my age have always enjoyed the true bodily autonomy to be able to make decisions over our own body, over our pregnancies,” said Hunt. “And it grieves me deeply that my own daughter and all of our daughters are not going to have that same fundamental right.”
But Stephanie Adkins, a foster mother, local resident, and member of an anti-abortion organization 40 Days of Life, holds a different opinion. Even after having an abortion herself.
“I went down a dark path afterwards because I felt like I had just a lot of shame and regret that came along with it,” said Adkins. “And so because I know the pain that I went through, I don’t want to have any other woman go through that same pain.”
Adkins feels the best way to protest the Walk for Our Lives march is to become a foster parent.
“Yes, I would call out my fellow pro-lifers to say, ‘it’s time for us to step up and fill in the gap for those unwanted children and become a foster parent.’ It’s not that hard and there’s a great need for it,” said Adkins.
News Channel 11 reached out to Representative Rebecca Alexander, who sponsored Tennessee House Bill 2779, a bill that proposed making abortion illegal in the Volunteer State, but she had no comment on the march.