‘I just had to show up’: Locals protest Friday’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade; others praise the move (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)
Horns honked and people wielded signs Friday afternoon as they protested the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that ruled a woman has the right to seek an abortion.
“I’m here because the Supreme Court overturned Roe and that’s the unthinkable,” said Dee Hayward of Nevada City, who attended a protest at the Broad Street bridge in Nevada City. “I am heartbroken, I am worried, I am scared. I am out here to fight for basic women’s rights and I am afraid what the future brings, what further decisions are going to be made that affect further folks and gay marriage and contraceptives. I am out here out of sheer sadness.”
Another attendee of Friday’s rally said her reasons were fairly basic.
“Because it’s just not right. It’s just wrong what they are doing. I just had to show up. I am just fed up,” said Lynn Maas.
“Who do they think they are?” asked Shirley Osgood, in reference to the justices who handed down the decision. “They are not representing the people. I’m like, really? It’s just unbelievable.”
“It’s been 50 years of my taking for granted my presumed right,” said Nevada City resident Marian Weast. “This is painful.”
The 5-to-4 ruling came about a month after a leaked document prepared by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito indicated the court was gearing up to make this momentous decision. Many on Friday decried the decision while others praised the justices’ move.
Friday’s ruling essentially means that individual states can once again outlaw abortion, and will likely lead to abortion bans in nearly half of the United States.
Abortion bans that were put on the books in some states in the event Roe v. Wade was overturned started automatically taking effect Friday, while clinics elsewhere — including Alabama, Texas and West Virginia — stopped performing abortions for fear of prosecution, sending women away in tears.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed legislation intended to protect patients and providers.
“With today’s Supreme Court decision to endanger the health and safety of millions of women across the country, California must do everything it can to protect the fundamental rights of all women — in California and beyond,” Newsom said in a release.
“This is legally indefensible,” Nevada County Supervisor Heidi Hall said Friday of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.
Hall added that she found the decision “appalling.”
“It will cause women to die for no good reason,” added Hall. “It’s a complete lack of humanity and understanding. I am largely concerned about women’s autonomy over their legal rights.”
The vice-chancellor and director of administration of the Diocese of Sacramento shared a statement that included the stance of the Catholic church.
“With the recent Supreme Court decision, overturning the flawed 1973 abortion decision of Roe v. Wade, many people are worried about the uncertain future ahead of us,” it states. “No number of years of standing precedence could erase the contrived legal machinations justifying the deliberate destruction of innocent life, but many still ponder, ‘Where do we go from here?’ The political leadership in California is clinging stubbornly to the throw-away ideology of abortion, refusing to imagine better alternatives for women and their children.”
Bob Hren, chairman of the Nevada County Republican Party, said in a statement that constitutional scholars who support abortion agree that Roe had no basis in the constitution.
“The decision today returns to the states and to the people of each state the ability to govern themselves as they determine,” Hren said. “For Californians, there should be effectively no long-term impact from this decision, given the super majority, one-party control in Sacramento.”
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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