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BOSTON--Some 200 marchers braved rainy, gusty weather last night to attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Rosie Jimenez, a Texas woman who died in 1977 from complications resulting from an illegal abortion.
Gathered in front of Boston City Hospital, the protesters carried signs and chanted, "Right to life is a lie, they don't care if women die!" and "Back alleys no more, abortion rights for women and poor!"
The rally, which drew no counter-protesters, was sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW).
The group, which also contained representatives of socialist and gay and lesbian organizations, marched to Copley Square, where it was addressed by the president of the Boston chapter of NOW, Ellen Convisser. Convisser criticized the appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court of David H. Souter '61, calling it a "a virtual rollback of women's rights."
The marchers also protested ballot Question 3, a proposal to cut state spending, saying it would slash funding for services like education and health care.
Massachusetts is one of few states to provide government funds for poor women who seek abortions and the protesters said they fear that the passage of Question 3 will end such aid. The U.S. government in 1977 limited federal funding for abortions to cases where a woman's life is in danger.
Marlene J. Martin, who identified herself as a Boston City Hospital nurse and member of the International Socialist Organization, said, "The right to choose is not enough. [Question 3] unfortunately affects the working poor who have the choice but not the money."
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