Phoenix coffee shop creating a safe space for people to voice opinions on abortion

Tres Leches Café in downtown Phoenix held an event Monday where over 100 people showed up to voice their concerns after the Supreme Court's decision.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 9:12 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Some Valley businesses are opening their doors to create a safe space where people can share their thoughts, opinions, and stories on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

This comes after chaos broke out at the state capitol during demonstrations on Friday, where state troopers fired tear gas into the crowd. Officials insist they warned the crowd to disperse after protestors tried to breach the building during a legislative session. But protestors say they didn’t hear any warnings before the tear gas was fired. DPS says they chose to use tear gas after people tried to get into the capitol building.

Tres Leches Café in downtown Phoenix held an event Monday where over 100 people showed up to voice their concerns. The owner of the café, Magaly Martinez Saenz, says she was at the demonstration Friday night and was separated from her family when chaos rang out.

She wanted to allow people an area to gather without worrying about disruptions. “We are opening our doors to bring awareness to this and have people understand this isn’t necessarily a pro-abortion type of case, but we are pro-choice, and we are fighting for their rights to choose,” said Saenz.

Celina Washburn is the volunteer organizer with Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom. She says she has been reaching out to local businesses like Tres Leches and Brick Road Coffee to host events where people can gather to discuss the topic of abortion.

“We are hoping to utilize the small businesses to gather as many signatures as we can and give petitions out, then be able to drop them off at the Secretary of State so that way we can vote on it in November,” Washburn says.

Washburn says they need over 356,000 signatures on the petition. If those signatures are collected, those living in Arizona will have a chance to vote in November if they want to make abortion a constitutional right in the state or not. “I think events like this are important because if there are enough of them then eventually voices will be heard,” event attendee, Payton Coronado said. “I just think it’s important more so for me to have a voice for her (her kid) and for her future.”

Having a wife and a daughter hearing this broke my heart and just made me really upset,” said Mike Strong, another event attendee. “I’m a White male, and none of my rights are being offended, but I can be there for those whose rights are being taken.”

Some shared stories of their own experiences during the event. “When I was 23, I did have to get an abortion,” Washburn said. “If that was not an option, I honestly think I’d be homeless. I think I would’ve had to drop out of college.”

“My hope is that it will change something like if they needed one more signature maybe mine will be that one more that would impact and make a difference,” Coronado said.

“We want to have that on the ballot and have our voice heard and vote in November,” event attendee Maribel Wellwood said.

The organizers will be hosting another event Tuesday at the Brick Road Coffee Shop in Tempe from 6 to 9 p.m. They will have the petition there to sign as well.