Car honking, people cheering, impassioned speeches amplified by speakers — Central Square in Keene was alive with the sounds of a demonstration in support of reproductive rights on Saturday.

The gathering, organized by State Rep. Amanda Toll, D-Keene, and activist Sparrow Wilder, formerly of Keene, brought dozens of people downtown, where members of the community addressed the crowd.

The rally was one of many across the country that took place on Saturday.

Dottie Morris, associate vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity at Keene State College, a speaker at Saturday’s event, said she was proud of all the young people who attended the rally and offered words of encouragement.

“Be proud of being female and having female energy,” she said. “Be proud to take that female energy everywhere you go, because trust me, in this world, we need more feminine energy. Men can have that energy as well. So to my brothers, to my uncles, please take that feminine energy, allow it to help you make connections with other people, and most of all to have empathy with other people. So with that said, please, let’s do those things that we know will enrich our communities and not deplete it.”

Women’s marches have taken place annually since 2016, but Saturday’s emphasized reproductive rights in response to Texas’ abortion law, which is one of the most restrictive in the country.

Molly Bolan can be reached at

Molly Bolan can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436 or Follow her on Twitter @BolanMolly.