Thousands protest Roe v. Wade decision in Boston



The rally congregated in front of the Massachusetts State House to denounce the Supreme Court’s overturning of 1973 Roe v. Wade decision

Protestors begin to march towards the Massachusetts State House after hearing speeches near the Boston Public Library (MOLLY LOUISON/SAGAMORE STAFF)
“Hey-hey, ho-ho these fascist bans have got to go,” “Our bodies, our choice” and “Abort the court” were only some of the chants that erupted from the thousands of demonstrators in Boston on Friday, June 24 to denounce the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that protected the liberty to have an abortion.

Earlier that morning, the Supreme Court ended the constitutional protections that had nearly 50 years of precedence. The 5-4 decision means a person’s right to an abortion procedure is now controlled by state governments.

The rally was quickly organized and advertised by advocacy groups including Reproductive Equity Now, a part of the Beyond Roe Coalition, and the ACLU of Massachusetts. Protesters were instructed to first congregate near the Boston Public Library to hear speeches that emphasized the detriment of this decision.

Speaker Julian Guerra said women will die from this ruling and that it is only a “tragedy waiting to happen.” Speaker Sue Hyde, who described the Supreme Court as “out of control, Christo-fascist” said the conservative majority’s agenda means the protection of other constitutional rights are very fragile. Hyde said she worries about Justice Clarence Thomas’ overturning the cases that established the rights to contraceptives and same-sex marriage.

At approximately 6:45 p.m, the demonstrators began to fill the streets as they marched to the State House.

Senior and student protestor Olivia Sheehan said she feels very frustrated with the Supreme Court’s decision. Sheehan said such political interference on female reproductive rights will deny herself and other women health care services that may be critical.

“I am angry that bodily autonomy is not being protected, and I am angry that I don’t feel safe,” Sheehan said.

Senior and student protestor Ary Alvarez-Valdez said the overturning of Roe v. Wade is synonymous with the belief that women’s rights are not important. Alvarez-Valdez said she is greatly concerned with how this ruling will impact people of color.

“I am here today because the overturning of Roe v. Wade will disproportionately affect women of color, which is an issue that is not being mentioned enough,” Alvarez-Valdez said.

Although the march was arranged within a few hours, several student protestors said they were pleased with the number of people who showed up in support of abortion rights.

Junior and student protestor Elliot Stolyarov said he participated because he felt strongly about the injustice of the ruling and was shocked to see how large the crowd was.

“I am so surprised any of this could have possibly happened today and that there would have been a need for this march, but I am very happy with the attendance,” Stolyvarov said. “I found out about it two hours before it began, and the fact that this many people turned out for it is a really good sign because I feel like this many people should be coming and speaking out.”

Senior and student protestor Phoebe Shay said she recognizes that residents of Massachusetts are not in as great peril as those in other states, as Govenor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to preserve abortion rights hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Shay said she is worried for women in other states that are not nearly as progressive as Massachusetts.

“I hope that a turnout this large will also be seen in other states that are more conservatively-populated. We are very lucky to be living in a state that is continuing to protect abortion providers,” Shay said. “I just hope that the outrage displayed in Boston today will be shown across the nation. I owe it to all my people with female reproductive systems to be here today and we all need to be angry.”