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Women march in Lorain, join cities across the country

LORAIN — As women marched across the U.S. Saturday, Lorain joined in as it focused on reproductive rights and voting rights.

The event at Lakeview Park in Lorain highlighted issues women face in the world. Speakers emphasized the importance of voting.

Janet Garrett, who has run against U.S. Rep., Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, three times, said if women want change, the most important issue in Ohio is redistricting. She said the way it’s drawn now is gerrymandered. Jordan represents portions of Lorain County, including Elyria and Oberlin.

She said it will only let in the most right-wing politicians to make decisions about women and their bodies. Garrett urged people to call their local representatives and push for better redrawn districts.

Garrett also touched on women’s right to an abortion. She said she’s given birth to three daughters. She said she’s never been in a situation where she’s had to consider an abortion.

But she said that doesn’t mean she doesn’t understand or have empathy for women who face decision for themselves. Garrett said she’s known three women who had an abortion because if they had given birth, they and the child would be plunged into poverty. “And that’s not OK,” she said. “... Why is this decision being made by white men?”

Ohio Democratic Vice Chair Andre Washington said the only way they can stop people from taking reproductive rights from women and voting rights is when women have a seat at the table. To protect democracy, Washington said women shouldn’t just have a seat at the table, but be able to be at the head of the table.

He encouraged women to continue promoting young women, continue giving power to people, continue to speak truth to power and continue in their push. Executive Director of Genesis House Virginia Beckman updated on what happened with domestic violence in the months of COVID-19. Beckman said people were urged to stay home where ostensibly it’s safe.

But for victims of domestic violence, home is the least safe place to be. Beckman said it’s created a shadow pandemic, where violence against women has increased.

That includes Lorain County, Beckman said. Police departments have reported an increase in domestic violence calls, even while other calls have dropped.

In the past 18 months, Lorain County has seen more domestic homicides than the previous five years combined.

Beckman said this is a concerning situation. She urged the community to come together and do better. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Beckman said people can resolve to do one thing this month to raise awareness on domestic violence. She said words matter, and people can challenge the minimization of violence against women, challenge domestic violence and challenge misogyny.

Part of the march also included donations of feminine hygiene products, which were donated to Genesis House.

Contact Laina Yost at (440) 329-7121 or

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