About a dozen people held signs at the Memorial Park pedestrian bridge along Dodge Street in Omaha to support the right to a legal abortion. Occasional honks from passing drivers sounded in support. (Cate Folsom/Nebraska Examiner)
OMAHA — A new group called No Forced Birth Nebraska on Wednesday night held the first of what it says will be a weekly series of vigils across the state in support of abortion rights.
Omaha’s event drew a dozen supporters to Memorial Park’s pedestrian bridge.
A Lincoln event at the Rock-Island Trail pedestrian bridge attracted about the same number.
Simultaneous vigils, both smaller, were held in Kearney and Hastings.
Spokesperson Tiffany Burns said the protests, to be held each Wednesday night through the end of September, are a way to engage like-minded voices across the state.
Volunteers said they also plan legislative and organizational action to “keep all abortions legal in Nebraska.”
Organizers expected small turnouts to start and hope for growth, Burns said.
The idea for weekly public protests was sparked during a meeting of friends and neighbors who met at a Lincoln coffee shop, discouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v.Wade.
The group thought it was important to connect with supporters in more rural areas, Burns said, noting: “This is not just a Lincoln and Omaha issue.”
In two weeks since the group began planning, she said, a Facebook page has grown to about 300 followers, and a few hundred have signed up for email via the group’s website.
Burns said the group hopes that keeping vigils to a half hour will make their effort more sustainable.
“We want to make it easy but still have a consistent message going out every week.”
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