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The Mass Media

Thousands protest for abortion rights at State House

Kaushar Barejiya
Protesters gather at the Mass. State House to rally for abortion rights. Photo by Kaushar Barejiya / Mass Media Staff

On the evening of Tuesday, May 3, thousands of people protested outside the Massachusetts State House to demonstrate their collective outrage for the Supreme Court’s leaked draft of overturning Roe v. Wade. The protest rallies and gatherings sprang out less than a day after the draft was made public by Politico.

The famous Roe v. Wade case of 1973 is a landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide and made it a constitutional right. Overturning the decision would lead to outright bans on abortion and the crumbling of women’s abortion rights.

The initial draft written by Justice Samuel Alito was fetched by Politico. A snippet from the 98 page-long draft read: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

The public disclosure of this draft has intensified the debates on abortion rights and has led to a wave of protests nationwide. Grassroots organizations and activists openly condemned and protested the decision outside statehouses and courts. Officials and Senators too expressed their denunciation through social media.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren called the Supreme Court “extremist,” in a tweet, and stated that it is trying to force its unpopular opinions on Americans. “It’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard,” reads Senator Warren’s tweet. “We’re not going back—not ever.”

Mayor Michelle Wu put out an official statement saying that it is an extremely hard moment for Americans, and the decisions made by the minority will affect the lives of many and put them in jeopardy. “In Boston, we affirm our absolute commitment to protecting reproductive rights as core to building a city for everyone,” added Wu.

Organizations like the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the American Civil Liberties Union called people to protest and gather at the Massachusetts State House. College and university students were found marching and holding signs with slogans like “ban off their bodies” and “only the struggle has won women’s rights.” The crowd chanted, “Not the state. Not the church. Women must decide their fate,” and marched from 24 Beacon St. through Stuart Street and back to the State House.

The Boston Globe interviewed Gabby Ballard, one of the organizers with the Party for Socialism and Liberation at the protest. “We’re out here today demonstrating to oppose these attacks on women’s bodily autonomy and the antidemocratic nature of the Supreme Court,” said Ballard.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts issued an official statement saying that if Roe is overturned, half of the states will likely ban abortion, and that “politicians will try to ban abortion nationwide.” Carol Rose, the executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts said: “However the decision ultimately comes down, the ACLU will never stop fighting for a person’s right to choose when and if to have a child.”

The number of people who turned out on Tuesday evening was noteworthy. The crowd was addressed by a few speakers and independent activists.

One of the speakers quoted Arundhati Roy in her closing remarks: “Remember this: We be many, and they be few. They need us more than we need them.” The reaction from the crowd was loud and powerful, affirming what the speakers and activists had to say.

On Friday, May 6, at 6 p.m., there was another demonstration at Copley Square to continue the momentum against the idea of overturning Roe v. Wade.

About the Contributor
Kaushar Barejiya, News Editor