FLORENCE — Kayla Sloan was thrilled with the number of people who shared her opposition to the state's recently signed abortion ban during an event Sunday in downtown Florence.
Hundreds attended the event on the grounds of the U.S. Post office on Seminary Street, according to those in attendance.
Many carried signs stating their opposition to the bill, which was approved last week by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey.
"We are very happy with the turnout," Sloan said. "It was quite a success in our opinion."
Sloan said the event was an opportunity for people to come and express their views on the abortion ban.
"We're making a stand and letting it be known we feel this way," Sloan said. "A lot of it was bringing together people in this community who share these values. All these rallies are crucial for us in taking back this conversation and defining what pro choice means."
She admitted the issue is not an easy one to talk about.
"The more we claim it, the more we can talk about it openly," Sloan said.
The Shoals event was one of at least five that took place in the state Saturday and Sunday. Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville also hosted events, Sloan said.
Rallies were held in other states and additional events are planned for today.
Charles Rose of Indivisible Northwest Alabama said he was proud to be part of the rally. He estimated the crowd size at about 250 people.
"I thought all of the speakers at the rally were both informative and inspiring," Rose said. "People, young and old, are not going to accept this vicious, cruel law. I wonder if the men who passed this ban even took a minute to imagine its horrendous impact on rape and incest victims."
The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced its intention to sue the state over the abortion bill.
"The Alabama Law is so restrictive, even if it goes to the Supreme Court it will be struck down," Sloan said.
Sloan said there were four speakers, and a woman read stories from women concerning why access to abortion matters to them. She said there was only one counter protester that she knew of.
Florence police officers were on hand to provide security, and the group obtained a permit to hold the event, she said.
The event was sponsored by Indivisible Northwest Alabama and Beyond the Women's March.