By Madeline Oden | Herald Jul 28, 2022
A new local activist group will host a women’s rights rally at 5 p.m. Saturday in front of Killeen City Hall, 101 N. College St.
Bell County for Pro Choice is a new organization created by Killeen resident Zoe Bennett, who is passionate about women’s rights.
“I was originally driving to go to protests in Austin almost every day after Roe V. Wade was overturned,” Bennett said about why she started the group. She explained that after going to Austin so much she wondered why protests weren’t happening in smaller cities like the Killeen-Temple area.
The United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24. The law established women’s constitutional right to abortion and privacy and became law after a Supreme Court ruling in 1973.
After Roe v. Wade was overturned last month, many Americans feared that the current Supreme Court would try to overturn other rulings such those legalizing same-sex and interracial marriage.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to codify same-sex marriage on July 19.
Bennett’s group started around the beginning of July and has since grown to 195 members on Facebook, as of 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
“Our goal is to make Texas more aware of what is going to happen and what is already going into effect with Roe v. Wade being overturned,” Bennett said. “We also want to make people aware of the erosion of other laws that the Supreme Court wants to do.”
Bennett said there will be sign-making materials at the event and residents who want to join the protest are welcome to attend.
“We will have sign making, march around City Hall and stand on the sidewalk and face Killeen and chant with our signs. The goal is for Killeen to literally hear us,” she said.
The peaceful protest on Saturday will feature two local Democratic Party nominees as guest speakers: Bell County Precinct 4 commissioner candidate Louie Minor and Texas House District 54 candidate Jonathan Hildner.
“We want more people in Bell County to genuinely care because I feel like they don’t. I reached out to a lot of other local politicians and they essentially told me ‘Well I’m Democratic but I’m not going to help you.’ A lot of the local politicians are indifferent to helping,” she said.
Bennett said she is prepared to face backlash from locals against their cause.
“I’m expecting the worst and hoping for the best. I’ve had some people tell me on social media that they will be there to counter-protest. We are aware of the opposition that we might face,” Bennett said. “We’re not going to stop here. This is just the beginning.”
Residents interested in Bell County for Pro Choice can find them on Facebook at Bell County for Pro Choice or on Instagram at Bell_county4_prochoice.