Letter: Gun violence, women’s rights made me march

To the Editor:

I was one of the 400,000 who marched in New York City this weekend. It is estimated that 3.7 million women, men and children participated in demonstrations in the U.S. Why did we march? I saw people of all generations carrying signs expressing their displeasure at a political trend in this country that wants to turn back the clock on everything from women’s rights to environmental health and safety.

I was there for two reasons. First to express my outrage at the lack of common-sense solutions to unrelenting gun violence, which resulted in more than 34,000 homicides and suicides in 2016. The second reason is my concern that women’s reproductive rights have been under siege from the right for years. With Mike Pence and the potential for a more conservative Supreme Court, it will become much worse in the future.

My concern did not start with the election of Delusional Donald or Dangerous Mike. It began years ago as I observed young women take for granted the rights to receive information, education and medical support for their health and reproductive concerns. Women of my age fought long and hard in the 1960s before birth control was available and abortions were legal. As a schoolteacher in the mid-1960s, I had to leave my job when I became visibly pregnant.  

I was heartened to see so many young women (with and without children) marching with their mothers and grandmothers, along with supportive men. The question now is where will they go from here? Will they go back to their busy lives or will they organize and mobilize to fight for their hard-earned rights?

I came away from the march hopeful that together we will keep moving forward toward a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Gail Lehmann