The world is full of good and brave people. If we’re lucky, we get to call these people friends. So I was delighted to see my friend and former Great Falls resident, Laura Wight, featured in The Washington Post this week.
Wight and her family lived in Great Falls for 11 years. In her time here, Laura was a steadfast figure in the volunteer world. She served as Vice President of the Great Falls LGBTQ+ Center, was an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood, and worked as the head librarian at Great Falls College MSU. Then life happened, as it is always wont to do, and a new career opportunity brought the Wights to New Mexico. But moving to a Blue state was not the end of Laura’s activism work. Rather, the undoing of Roe and an ultra conservative city commission has Wight treading that well-known protest line, this time in a much warmer clime.
Despite abortion being legal in New Mexico, the city of Clovis has been besieged by extremist right-wing pastors who have pushed an illegal abortion ban. One such extremist, Mark Lee Dickson has been making the rounds in Montana as well. Dickson (emphasis on DICK) has popped up in rural Montana towns, including Manhattan, Sheridan, and Whitehall , attempting to create “sanctuary cities for the unborn.” It’s not lost on us that these same idealogues are adamantly opposed to providing sanctuary for the already born.
When Hurricane Dickson arrived in Clovis, Laura Wight was ready. Calling on her decades of organizing experience, Wight responded quickly, creating Eastern New Mexico Rising. Now Wight is leading legal efforts to sue the city, and gathering signatures to bring the issue to the voters. Laura’s story highlights what organizers know all too well- The fight is not just here in Montana. The fight is everywhere. Lucky for New Mexico, they’ve gained one hell of a fighter.
You can read about Wight’s continued work here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/02/06/new-mexico-abortion-fight/
Learn about Dicksons’ trip to Manhattan here: