By Brett Wilkins / Common Dreams
Large crowds of people took to the streets of cities and towns across the United States Friday evening to protest the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade and to vow to fight for reproductive rights.
In San Francisco, hundreds of youth-led protesters shouting slogans including “We won’t go back!” and “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries” rallied in Civic Center Plaza, while hundreds marched and staged a sit-in on Market Street.
“Abortion is a human right,” Amnesty International youth leader and protest co-organizer Samprikta Basu told Common Dreams outside San Francisco City Hall. “A ban on abortions is a ban on safe abortions and this affects marginalized communities, the poor, and people of color the most.”
“So it’s important that we come out and make our voice heard,” Basu added. “It’s not okay to take away a constitutional right.”
In Albuquerque, hundreds of people gathered in Old Town’s Tiguex Park to protest Friday’s ruling.
“I just can’t believe the Supreme Court is rolling back constitutional rights,” Alix King, who said she almost died after an illegal abortion in 1965 when she was 13 years old, told the Albuquerque Journal. “That’s terrifying.”
More than 1,000 people marched from Lincoln Park to City Hall in downtown Portland, Maine, where protester Abby Friedlander condemned the Supreme Court ruling as “a real setback for women’s rights.”
Meg Palitz was among the thousands of demonstrators who rallied in Philadelphia.
“A lot of people will be forced to have children they don’t want,” she told CBS Philadelphia. “You can have health complications, it can be really bad financially and can really just change their lives for the worse, not to mention flooding the foster care system.”
In Denver, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, which held a rally at the Colorado state Capitol, defiantly declared that “We won’t go back. We WILL fight back.”
Thousands of people descended upon Austin’s Republic Square before marching through downtown chanting slogans including, “My body, my choice!” and “Fuck the court and legislature, I am not an incubator!”
Texas is one of 13 states with so-called “trigger laws,” which in its case will make most abortions illegal unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or if there’s a risk of serious impairment because of the pregnancy.
At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, a speaker at a youth-led rally was cheered loudly after proclaiming that “we’re not just gonna sit back and allow a group of people, of mostly old white men who were not even elected to their positions, take these rights away from us.”
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa at least one reproductive rights protester was struck by a truck. Iowa is one of several states that have enacted laws shielding motorists who hit protesters under certain circumstances.
In New York City, protesters at a Washington Square Park rally held signs with messages like “Forced birth = Violence” and chanted slogans including “Abortion is a human right, not just for the rich and white.”
Emma Handler, one of the thousands who gathered in Washington Square, told The New York Times that for a handful of unelected justices to have the power to “make these decisions about our lives and our health and our well-being is deeply dystopian.”
“People will die from this choice, and I hope that people in power have this on their conscience,” she added. “I’m just sad.”