ECU students, community members march for reproductive rights


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University students gathered Friday to protest for women’s rights.

Several people met on campus and marched around town for the cause. This protest comes after Texas lawmakers signed the Heartbeat Act. It bans abortion at just six weeks.

Jordan Cianci, an ECU sophomore, organized the event.

“I felt strongly about what’s happening in Texas and I just decided to wake up one morning and host a protest,” she said.

It’s a cause that Cianci didn’t want to be silent about, even though she’s here in North Carolina.

“If that ban gets passed in Texas, what’s stopping it from being passed anywhere else,” said Cianci. “It’s not about geography. It’s not about religion. It’s not about politics. It’s something that is human rights. It’s human decency.”

Cianci, along with several fellow ECU students and community members, gathered outside Joyner Library for the reproductive rights protest.

After people made signs and gave opening remarks, the group took to the streets. People marched through Uptown Greenville carrying signs and chanting.

“We’re all women and gender minorities and as people this affects us and our reproductive rights and our ability to decide what to do for our bodies,” said Rachana Charla, who participated in the protest.

The group attracted some counter-protesters.

“Abortion is wrong,” said Joseph Verykoukis, vice chair of ECU College Republicans. “We don’t support it and we’re students here. Our voice means just as much as their voice and so it’s very important that we stand here. That we proclaim what we believe.”

No matter which side of the debate you’re on, Cianci said it’s important for people to stand up for their beliefs.

“If you feel strongly about something, don’t let anyone stand in your way,” she said. “If it’s important to you, just do it.”

This protest on ECU’s campus comes just one day before thousands will gather in Washington D.C. for the Women’s March. This march will also focus on pro-abortion rights.

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