Photo by Andrew Weeks
Kimberly resident Molly Arrossa holds a sign in front of Planned Parenthood in Twin Falls on Friday. She and others in the community came out to peaceably assemble on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

TWIN FALLS – About 30 people, with signs and fliers in hand, stood in front of Planned Parenthood on Friday afternoon for the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that in 1973 legalized a woman’s right to have an abortion.

“We’re a respectful and peaceful group. We’re not aggressive,” said Laura Plein, a former Twin Falls resident now residing in Hammett but who came to town Friday for the event. “I take abortion personally, but we’re here today more for public awareness.”

She and others from area churches, including St. Edwards Catholic Church and Calvary Chapel in Buhl, said they were there to share information about options other than abortion for women who do not want to raise a child.

Plein, who’s participated in such gatherings before, said she’s met some women who just don’t know who talk to about other options. That’s why we’re here, she said.

Most people coming in and out of the building were polite to the group, Plein said.

As the group waved their signs on the corner of Second Ave. N. and Gooding St. N., some drivers who passed by honked their horns in support of the demonstrators.

Not every driver was so nice, however. At least one woman in a car shouted profanities and told the group it was her right to choose an abortion.

“We’re not here to judge anyone,” said Twin Falls resident Bill Batory. “I’m here because of a love of Christ and because I hold life sacred.”

Jason Richardson, assistant pastor of Calvary Chapel, echoed similar sentiments.

“We’re not here to push our view on anyone,” he said.

Before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion in 1973, it heard the case for two years previous. It started when Texas resident Norma McCorvey, who in court documents was called “Jane Roe,” filed a lawsuit against the local district court.

McCorvey wanted to abort her child, but Texas law forbade it unless the woman’s life was in jeopardy. The court agreed to give her an injunction, but McCorvey appealed. So did Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that surgical abortion was part of a woman’s right to privacy and protected under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The decision has been both supported and criticized, including by McCorvey who in recent years has become a proponent of pro-life. One of its recent detractors is Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, who told NBC News that he’d “love” to see the abortion law overturned.

The Twin Falls crowd, which comprised around 25 people at around noon, gathered at 11 a.m. and initially planned to remain in front of the building until 1 p.m., but people had the option of staying longer.

“If we could get 50 people here today, that’d be great,” Plein said, noting that a smaller group of demonstrators gather on the first Friday of each month and two Saturdays of every month.

Kimberly resident Molly Arrossa, who also was at Friday’s event, is usually amongst that smaller crowd. Sometimes on those or other days people will stop by for just a few minutes to hold a sign or Rosary and to say a prayer, she said.

A representative of Planned Parenthood was unavailable for comment on Friday.