Abortion-rights protesters rally after Roe v. Wade overturned

2022-06-25 15:56:29 By : Ms. Sophia .

Hundreds of abortion-rights advocates gathered in Cincinnati at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Friday, venting anger, grief and fear after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Krystal Schemmel of Green Township said she felt devastated when she heard the decision. With two wire hangers hooked on a belt loop of her jeans, she headed downtown before the protest started at 6 p.m. to do what she could.

“I felt like a second-hand citizen when the decision came down,” she said. ”It’s just the religious right telling us that we are not capable of making our own decisions.”

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Women who’d had abortions were among those who shared stories on the courthouse steps.

Members of Cincinnati Socialists and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio were among those who spoke to the crowd.

JP, the first to speak, warned the crowd that the decision could impact other rights including same-sex marriage.

"If abortion rights are not codified, countless lives will be lost just to placate a few religious extremists,” JP said. "Consider the language of today’s decision. The loss of abortion rights very well may not be the only causality. A whole host of fundamental rights are now in jeopardy. This decision attacks the legal framework of the right to privacy and the decades of progress on social issues all by the stroke of a pen by unpopular, unelected leaders.”

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Nearby, Kelly Livingston of Cincinnati Socialists was at a table with pins, masks and stickers.

“The Supreme Court is not there to protect poor and working people. It is an institution of power,” she said. Livingston said the court’s decision Friday caused her fear. ‘Fear for myself, fear for all of us. It makes us all less safe, less healthy and puts all of our lives at risk.”

Clutching signs emblazoned with slogans including “Bans off our Bodies” and “Abortion is healthcare” and some with profanity, the protesters started marching around 6:30 p.m. to the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse on East Fifth Street.

“What do we want? Choice. When do we want it? Now,” they chanted.

Some people walked their dogs, others held children’s hands or boosted them to their shoulders as the group marched and chanted. Most of the protesters appeared to be younger adults, although there were people of all ages involved. Colorful hair and clothing dotted the crowd. People wore rainbows on their clothing and draped flags over their shoulders.

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And as they walked the streets of downtown, drivers honked horns and cheered, people on sidewalks and in restaurants cheered. Several patrons of Taqueria Mercado on East Eighth Street stood inside at the restaurant’s windows and lifted their fists or clapped as the protesters marched by.

At the federal courthouse they stopped, and again, advocates and activists fired up the crowd with speeches and information – telling them that abortion was still legal in Ohio – seemingly unaware that news just broke that the “heartbeat bill”, which allows abortion only up to six weeks, went into effect. 

The final speakers told the crowd while news of the court's decision might have left them feeling hopeless, they can organize and join local organizations that are pushing for reprodcutive rights. 

Then the energized crowd walked back to the Hamilton County Courthouse before many dispersed.

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