Thursday, January 21, 2010

The jury has been selected, opening statements Friday

Thursday evening, 8 men and 6 women were seated for the jury in the trial of Scott Roeder. Friday morning, there will be a few more motions before the jury is sworn in and opening statements begin. Word on the street is Regina Dinwiddie has been in town a couple of days and both Don Spitz and Dave Leach will be here shortly, if they are not already. We expect Jennifer McCoy to attend at least a few days of the trial though she is due with her tenth child on Valentine's Day. We're certain others will be in town as well.

This starts on an auspicious day. Tomorrow is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is the day pro-choice activists celebrate the recognition of women's right to choose in their pregnancies. Abortion is one of the ways in which women are empowered to participate in society (though the Roe decision is far more than just abortion: it is also to prevent laws regulating pregnancy). Though since Dr. Tiller died, thousands of women in Kansas have lost that part of our empowerment. Of our 105 counties, only two counties have abortion clinics, both in the extreme northeast. Women in western Kansas already faced a difficult and long journey to Wichita, one they likely couldn't afford on top of the cost of the medical procedure, and they must now travel even more. While we celebrate the recognition of our right to choose, we are also faced with the cold, sad reality that we in Kansas have quite limited access to it. I am feeling today much as I did on May 31st: angry and sad.

We will try to update our twitter page throughout the day. Also follow Ron Sylvester and RH Reality Check for additional updates. Tomorrow night, expect a report on opening statements.

Tomorrow, keep Dr. Tiller in your minds. And celebrate choice.

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