Students walk out in support of abortion rights



Hundreds of students gathered outside of the STEM wing protesting the potential removal of the federal guarantee of the right to have an abortion on Friday, May 13.

In response to Politico leaking the Supreme Court’s initial majority opinion draft to overturn Roe v. Wade on Monday, May 2, students organized a walkout demanding control over the decision to have an abortion. Hundreds of students gathered outside of the STEM wing at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 13 during C-block.

The walkout, orchestrated by the HerStory Club, was one of many protests across the state and nation led by students on May 13. Even more protestors joined “Bans Off Our Bodies” protests on Saturday, May 14, organized by Planned Parenthood in many different cities, including Boston, to fight for the legality of abortion.

Written by conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the draft opinion determined that the issue of abortion should be returned to individual states. In striking down the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court would remove the federal right to an abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are very likely to ban abortion if Roe is overturned, including 18 that are certain to do so.

Freshman and member of the Girl Up club Jolie Revis spoke to the crowd about her frustration with the removal of personal autonomy.

“I don’t understand why others think it’s okay to take away another person’s control over their own body and well-being. The right to abortion seems to me like something that could never be taken away,” Revis said. “So if this could happen, what happens next? What right that we consider normal, can or will be taken away next?”

Drawing from her experiences protesting while facing opposition to abortion rights, junior Margo Mattes spoke about the contradictions in the “pro-life” argument.

“What is there to be said about a group of people who wish to see a baby born, but not a baby fed, a baby housed or a baby raised,” Mattes said. “It’s time we start referring to these groups by their actions and not just what they simply claim to be. They are not pro-life, they are simply anti-choice.”

Revis said the overturn of Roe v. Wade would dramatically alter the reproductive healthcare for millions across the nation.

“If Roe v. Wade is repealed, it means that basic human rights are being taken away for more than half of the people in the United States. It doesn’t make sense that people with uteruses don’t have basic bodily autonomy,” Revis said. “When abortion is banned, it simply does not lower abortion rates, it increases pregnancy-related death because people will be forced to seek unsafe abortion or be forced to carry an unsafe pregnancy to term.”

According to Mattes, the fight over abortion connects back to the country’s roots of inequality.

“To take a stand against these abortion bans is to take a stand against the systemic racism, sexism and classism that this country was built upon. To take a stand is to recognize that women of color take the heaviest burden on this issue. To take a stand against these oppressive laws is to be anti-racist,” Mattes said.

Student speakers also shared stories of women and their experiences with abortion.

In planning the walkout, HerStory reached out to Socialist Alternative, a national organization and political party resisting social injustices. A member of Social Alternative who identified themself as Willow said rights being taken away can be traced back to capitalism in the nation. They invited students to join Socialist Alternative at the “Bans Off Our Bodies” protest in the Boston Commons the following day.

Sophomore and co-founder of HerStory Sophie Nyusten said the walkout was very effective and she was happy with the turnout considering the short notice

“We hope that we bring more awareness to the issue [at the high school] and we hope to get people talking about this,” Nyusten said.