Women from every generation, old and young, and their male feminist counterparts gathered on the corner of Park Street Saturday morning. Outside Republican State Representative Larry Ahern's St. Petersburg office, about 30-40 activists held signs and chanted. Awake Pinellas organized the march as part of a national day against war on women.
"Larry Ahern is not a friend of women's rights," Dunedin attorney BJ Star said.
Star is the president of the West Pinellas National Organization for Women or NOW. She joined NOW in 1975 when she was a police officer.
"I was facing differential treatment from superior officers and the union wasn't sympathetic back then," Star said."So I went to law school so I would never have to have someone else explain the law to me. I will explain it to them now."
Grassi cited that over 1,000 anti-choice bills have been introduced across the United States, all potentially effecting women's rights or women's access to basic healthcare.
Kofi Hunt, of Awake Pinellas, organized Saturday morning's march. He was sporting a blue t-shirt reading "this is what a feminist looks like".
Patricia remembers protesting for women's rights in the 1980s in Washington, D.C.
"I'm truly amazed we have to fight this battle again," she said. "If they were really against abortion they'd do everything to support sex education and contraception."
"It's important to show my daughters what women's rights looks like," Jose said. "It's not just about the future of my reproductive rights but the future of my daughters reproductive rights."
In a bad economy, Jose sees the emphasis on limiting access to women's rights by the right wing as a distraction. "People get scared in a downturn economy and need a scapegoat," Jose said. "It's ironic because America is supposed to set the standard for gender equality and we still dont have equal pay or a female president."
Sandy Oestreich is the president and founder of the Equal Rights Alliance, which seeks to establish legislation prohibiting denial of rights based on sex. She's worked on the campaign for everyday for 12 years. She's seen and participated in several women's movements over the years but says the recent rhetoric has her especially concerned.
"The war against women is markedly more vicious, markedly more illogical and markedly more more cruel," Oestreich said.