On the heels of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision Friday, overturning Roe v. Wade, a group of local people created a simple flyer they shared on social media and with their direct contacts. As is often the case, the most compelling rallies happen on short notice, via word of mouth – when protests take form organically.
The protest turned into hundreds of people marching to protest the overturning of the 49-year-old Roe v. Wade decision legalizing a woman’s right to reproductive care, which until the make-up of the court turned to conservative majority, had been considered settled law. The reversal has upended the constitutional rights of women; who make up half the population of this country of 330 million.
As organizers were setting up Sunday morning, State Rep. Julie McCluskie (D-Dist. 61) from Dillon, CO, Chair of the Joint Budget Committee arrived to offer support and help pump up the crowd.
Shortly before 12:00 noon on Sunday, June 26 a crowd estimated at between 300 to 400 people of all ages, carried signs and repeated loud chants as they marched down F Street towards Riverside Park.
As they marched, the crowd increased. They then circled the downtown and headed back up G Street turning again on F Street towards Alpine Park.
“It was so inspiring to see so many show up and care”, said marcher Ori Dey Kloud (they/them). “Anyone alone can’t take it on, we must unite for our rights; there’s power in our numbers”, they continued.
At the park, an attentive crowd listened to multiple speakers sharing highly personal stories, advocating for a person’s right to choose.
One of the most moving images of a day full of them, was that of a young woman, siting on the edge of the basketball court, tears streaming down her face, reflecting the shock and sadness that many have felt since Friday’s predictable announcement.
The march and rally followed a protest in the rain by thousands in downtown Denver on Friday night, June 24. The Colorado Sun headlined their reporting, citing one sign that said “Get your rosaries off my ovaries”.
Across the U.S. in hundreds of major cities and small towns, protests have taken place over the last 72 hours. Given that more than two-thirds of U.S. residents support a woman’s right to abortion and want it to be available, the court would appear to be out of step with the majority of the country.
States like Colorado where abortion is still permissible are bracing for an influx of women making the long journey from those areas like Texas where women’s reproductive health freedoms are severely restricted.
Jaden Edison and Cecilia Lenzen, writing on June 24 in the nonprofit, The Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) described marches in Austin and Dallas then noted the opposing views of some prominent politicians from their state.
“As abortion rights supporters rallied against the decision, abortion opponents celebrated the Supreme Court’s ruling. They were joined by many of the state’s Republican leaders. In a press release, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life.” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz called the decision “a massive victory for life.” And Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was closing his office and making June 24 an annual holiday.”
Those opposing this action by SCOTUS should note that Politico reported on Friday that Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that he believes SCOTUS should reconsider its rulings codifying contraception (Griswold), same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.
As for the next steps here at home? “We need to keep this energy alive ..[through] peaceful protests and educating people on why it’s important to vote. We must find our common ground and come together. Fighting against each other makes us all weak,” said Dey Kloud.
Featured image: Marchers gather at Riverside Park on June 26. 2022 in protest against Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Daniel Flanders photo
Editor note: The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.