PROVINCETOWN — Andrew Fitch of North Adams was troubled on June 24 when he heard that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed abortion rights across the U.S.
After creating a spreadsheet of ideas of what he could do, Fitch decided to walk 325 miles across the state, beginning in Williamstown and ending at the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. For each mile Fitch walked, he donated $1 to the National Network of Abortion Funds. Through fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram he was able to raise an additional $3,803, bringing his total to $4,128.
Fitch, 37, doesn’t consider himself particularly athletic; this was his first epic trek. He packed five T-shirts, three pairs of underwear, two pairs of hiking socks, a pair of jeans, his laptop, and a journal. After three days he shipped the jeans and a few T-shirts home — they were adding too much weight — and bought hiking poles and Band-aids for his many blisters.
In planning his route, Fitch made a point to avoid highways and stop in “charming” towns along the way. It was, Fitch said, an excellent way to “reconnect with my home state.” Fitch grew up in Marshfield and recently moved to North Adams after spending almost 10 years off and on in the Bay Area.
Fitch had expected the trip to take two weeks, but it ended up taking three due to blisters and other injuries, including a dislocated knee “somewhere between Northampton and Worcester.” He stayed with friends and family most nights, securing a bed, shower, and most important: laundry.
Fitch admitted to conceiving the idea to walk across the state before the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe. But “it always seemed to me that it would be irresponsible to do something like this and not make it a fundraiser,” Fitch said.
Fitch is a newcomer to walking across states, but not to social justice campaigns. He likes to keep his efforts unconventional, he said, like posters for abortion rights and human rights that he keeps in the windows of his buildings in North Adams.