LIHUE — Dominique Matayoshi celebrated a special day Tuesday along Kaumualii Highway fronting Kukui Grove Center.
“I was born on the day the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion was handed down, Jan. 22, 1973,” Matayoshi said. “That’s why I have my sign, ‘Honk! Your mother chose life.’ I had to come and spend a couple of hours with these people.”
Matayoshi and her grandson, Ikaika Doctolero, 2, were among nearly 50 people who manned signs against abortion.
“We’re just pro-life,” said Kenneth Rapozo. “We used to do this every month on the date of the Roe vs. Wade decision. Ten years. Every month, I did it for 10 years in front of the Wilcox Hospital. Then, they stopped doing abortions and sent the girls to Honolulu so we moved to Rice Street in front of the Planned Parenthood office. They closed their doors, so now, we just do this once a year, on the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.”
The sign wavers took to the sidewalk from 10 a.m. until noon, getting responses of honking from passing motorists.
The Kauai group was just one of many across the county that paused to remember the Roe vs. Wade decision.
“We get all kinds (of reactions),” Rapozo said. “After all this time, we get people who honk, and we also get the names.”
Rita Mitchell is visiting from Vancouver, Canada, and joined them.
“I brought four other people with me,” Mitchell said. “We do this in Canada, too. We heard about this after attending an assisted suicide presentation at the St. Raphael Church so we had to come to stop people from pulling babies apart.”
Sherrie and Ed Timmes of Florida said they attended mass at St. Catherine Church and heard about the anniversary observance.
“We were moved to come and support this,” Sherrie said. “This is such a beautiful island. Ed is also a Knights of Columbus. I just didn’t see the secret handshake.”
The group later met under the shade of a monkeypod tree for a silent prayer.
“Sixty million babies,” Mitchell said. “That’s how many babies we lost in 46 years.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.