Joelle Wolf spent her Mother’s Day a little different than most moms.
The Kelowna woman marched with her daughter to mark one year since her first protest against the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“Roe v. Wade in the United States was the federal protection of the right to access abortion,” Wolf said. “It was also your right to privacy with your medical care… What that means is that you can’t be prosecuted for accessing healthcare. When we overturned Roe v. Wade, when they did it in the states, it actually made it possible for governments who wanted to to criminalize abortion, to access your medical records, and for healthcare workers to be mandated reporters. If you are breaking the law in your state for accessing reproductive care, you can be tried, prosecuted and sent to jail or potentially have the death penalty just for having an abortion.”
Wolf works as a doula, helping others through potentially difficult births. With it being Mother’s Day, she said it made it even more important to make her voice heard.
“The majority of people who access abortion are actually people who have or plan to have children in the future, they are actively mothering. It is just healthcare. So, when we talk about Mother’s Day and honouring the people that take care of us, we should also be taking care of and standing up for their rights as well.”
Wolf’s daughter is soon to turn eight and walked with her mom in protest.
“I think it’s really important to teach children that, one their body is theirs and it belongs to them and they have every right to say yes or no to what happens to it. I also believe in education about their bodies, their reproductive system and the fact that no one should be exploiting them or telling them what to do.”
The duo walked from City Park to the steps of the Kelowna courthouse where they placed a couple signs and scattered flower petals.
“When you go into parenting you want it to be a consensual and loving decision that you are well prepared for,” Wolf stated, adding that forcing someone to remain pregnant and give birth can be traumatizing. “When people are forced as a consequence of having sex to bare children and parent them, the people who suffer are the families and the children.”