Earlier this week, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion stated that the majority of justices on the court have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. If Roe v. Wade does get overturned, it would effectively ban abortion in more than 20 states. This led to protests across the country, including in New York City. Epicenter-NYC reporter Andrea Pineda-Salgado attended a protest in Foley Square on Tuesday to get New Yorkers’ reactions to the news.
The following have been edited for clarity.
“So given that it is like a draft, I’ve been holding so much hope that it’s not the actual decision. I feel as though this hints at the fact that we are just political figures in this “state’s game” and our bodies are so continuously invaded in that way that we’re treated as political bonds and as though our choices can be decided by the state. I am pro-choice and I feel that if I was ever in that situation I wouldn’t have an abortion. But that’s not something that you should ever impose on someone.~ Sade Collier, 20
“I’m here to fight for women’s rights. I’m sick of people dictating what I can do with my body. The possible overturn of Roe v. Wade shows that they can control us, and they can’t and that’s what I’m here to show them tonight, that they can’t control us any longer. Protesting shows that there are numbers behind similar thinking and I think that it’s widely overlooked that there are masses that all believe the same thing. I have not had an abortion, but I have relied on Planned Parenthood more than once in my life. And I hope that people that I know have had an abortion are happy that I’m here and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
~ Elaina Lentin, 28
“I am here to support abortion rights, it’s pretty upsetting to see the news. The possible overturn of Roe v Wade shows that the United States just doesn’t value women or, female-presenting or those who identify as a woman. It’s just a matter of old white men making the rules for everyone. Gathering here is showing solidarity. We live in New York and we’re in one of the few states where there are protections and access to abortion, so this protest sends a message to the larger population who don’t have those protections.”
~ Sarah I., 29
“I’m here to stand up for my rights and the rights of my daughters and the rights of every woman. The government doesn’t appreciate our bodies and they don’t appreciate us as human beings or as equals. I had an abortion in my twenties. I have two beautiful daughters and I want — if they need to choose for themselves — them to have that right. Whether or not you agree with it, every woman has a right to make a decision about her body. That should not be a vote”
~ Sandra Santana, 52
“I am here to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe versus Wade decision. I think everybody should have the right to do what they want with their own bodies. Myself, you and anybody who is a person on planet Earth included. Overturning Roe v Wade doesn’t give women their own voice, it’s saying you don’t have the choice to do what you see fit with your own life. If we don’t protest then more things like this will happen, and where will it end if you don’t stop it like at this point? Speak up now, because then eventually people’s voices will be silenced to the point where they can’t speak up anymore.
~ Darian D. 30
“I am here today because this is what being pro-life looks like. We’re not even listed as human in the Constitution. So I think you don’t have to do a lot of mental labor to see that the government doesn’t think women are human, even in our founding documents. I would just like to see the government acknowledge that women are humans and we deserve the same bodily autonomy as men and as other people in general. Uterus bearing humans are human and we have rights to our own bodies,”
~ Morgan, 36
“We’re here today because we see the direct impacts of a ban like this. It’s really scary for us, but also just scary for people in our community. This issue is within the government and it’s beyond the government as well. I think that there is a lack of agency for women over their own bodies. I think that it trickles down into many aspects of day-to-day life as a woman. Things like the wealth gap and many other issues that exist at the cost of women and womanhood are just so prevalent. It shows that the government just has a lack of care for issues like this. And not just that, but just generally as a society, we are still many steps behind where we need to be in terms of equality for women and men. I think that something like this implies that abortions are still going to happen, they’re just going to be less safe. And that’s really scary for girls and women all over the world.”
~ Adelaide Phillips, 18
“There’s a tendency for men specifically to try and regulate women, to continue to have the power within society, this is an example of that. I was just talking to my friend about this, about how we’ve been protesting against this for like 50, 60 years. It kind of comes and goes and it’s just crazy that we’re still here kind of talking about the same issues. For something this monumental to be overturned is just ridiculous. The thing about anti-abortion is that on the one hand, it’s religious or whatever the reasoning may be, but in the end, it’s really just anti-woman. ~ Claire Should, 19
“The possible overturn of Roe v Wade says everything you need to know about the conservative majority on the Supreme Court who represent a small reactionary right wing minority in the United States. Most Americans support the right to abortion, and they are out of step with the rest of the country and taking us back into the dark ages. I think we need to strengthen New York State as a sanctuary state and make sure that we have laws protecting abortion providers in New York from prosecution from other states. We need to be able to support women who can’t afford to get [an abortion in other states], we need to help them get here. I would say that if someone doesn’t want to have an abortion, they should absolutely not have an abortion. But that’s not the choice that they get to make for other people. I just hope it’s a wake-up call for voters because we can’t afford to sit out the midterm elections. We have to flood Congress and the Senate with our votes to keep Democrats who are going to oppose the Supreme Court decision in office.”
~ Catherine Doren, 67