WASHINGTON (AP) — A steady stream of protesters have turned the street in front of the Supreme Court building into an open stage, sparking a heated national debate over abortion, after a draft opinion leaked that suggested. Giving that Justice would overturn Roe v. Wade. , the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion across the country.
Both supporters and opponents of abortion rights have gathered during large, organized weekend marches and on weekdays when courts are due to issue their opinion. They march and chant; Sometimes they try to yell at the other side.
For each, the reasons to protest are deeply personal.
Here’s what some had to say:
Washington’s Banita Lubic
Lubick, a widow, was joined by her daughter, Wendy Lubick, who sat in a black canvas camping chair between the US Capitol and the Supreme Court, holding a handwritten sign that read, “I do not regret my abortion. ”
In 1968, and with three children already in place, Benita Lubic’s IUD birth control device failed. She was granted a medical abortion in Washington, D.C., but doctors also performed a partial hysterectomy, they believe, to ensure she would not have any more pregnancies.
Lubic, 86, said, “I’m a senior citizen so I’ve gone a long way from having another child, but I want to help young people, especially those who have been raped and abused, so that they can have an abortion.”
Wendy Lubic, 60, also had a miscarriage in 1986, although she didn’t tell her mother about it until years later. “We weren’t ready to get married at the time,” says Wendy Lubic, who later married the man and has two daughters.
Benita Lubic blames Senate Republicans for blocking the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland during the final months of President Barack Obama’s final term, but then the latest justice, Amy Connie Barrett, following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September 2020 Fast tracked enrollment. Less than two months before the election.
“I’m sorry that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not alive to support us,” she said.
Grace Rykazewski of Morristown, New Jersey
With a hot pink bullhorn, matching lipstick, and pink eyeshadow, Grace Rykazewski, 21, was in a triumphant mood as she contemplated the possible death of Roe v. Wade.
“Once it turns around, it’s only the beginning for the pro-life movement,” said Rykazewski, who goes by the handle “Pro Life Barbie” on social media. “I think the next goal is twofold. On the one hand we would like to have legislation at the state level to make abortion as rare as possible. On the other hand, one goal is to make women feel that they no longer need an abortion, in difficult circumstances. Helping women so that now there is no demand for abortion.
Rykaczewski already plans to return to the Supreme Court to celebrate that Roe v. An opinion overturning Wade is issued.
Rob Jadel and Danny Dries, both of Washington
The pair join abortion rights protesters outside the White House on their way to the National Mall during protests across the country on Saturday, May 14.
“It’s important to me, identity as a male, to have that presence here,” said Jadel, 28. “It’s important for all of us to come together, it’s not just a woman’s issue.” He said he feared the court would not stop on abortion and that same-sex marriage could be one of the things ahead.
“It’s important for democracy to have equal rights for all, and it gives women and all-certain people less equal and less power,” said 27-year-old Dries.
Julia Bradley-Cook of Washington
Seven months pregnant, Bradley-Cook marched in court with the words “No Forced Pregnancy” on her bare stomach.
“I think a dichotomy has been established on abortion and pregnancy,” she said. “It’s important to show that just because we support the right to choose, it doesn’t mean we can’t get pregnant either.”
She and another pregnant friend represented a group of 500 women scientists.
Ke’von Kropp, and Kayla Kropp of Richmond, Virginia
The 26-year-old twin sisters came to the Supreme Court in recent days with the Students for Life group to announce the court’s decisions when the Roe v. Wade ruling was expected to arrive. The group wore a light blue T-shirt which read “We are a pro-life generation”.
“We’re not big talkers,” Kayla Kropp said. “We’re just here supporting the cause and ending abortion.”
Lauren McKillip and his wife Marissa McKillip of Crofton, Maryland
Marissa McKillipp carries her 4-year-old son, Lincoln, on the shoulders of his wife, Lauren, while draping her 2-year-old daughter, Thea, in a soft blue.
“It’s important for us to be here for our daughter, for our marriage, for everything established now so that our daughter doesn’t have to fight for it,” said Marissa McKillip, 28.
Lauren McKillip, 29, said, “I think the row was a fundamental court case that paved the way for a lot of other things after that, like interracial marriage, and same-sex marriage – the government doesn’t interfere so much in our private lives.” ” “If it turns around, we will definitely come out again, just to keep fighting, for the fight that lies ahead.”
Sonia Glenn of Fairfax, Virginia
Featuring a green foam crown, green silk dress, and proclaiming “abortion liberty” the sash transformed Sophia Glenn into the abortion rights-themed Lady Liberty.
“I can’t believe anyone else is going to make decisions about my body,” said the 37-year-old, who immigrated to the US from Mexico 15 years ago. “I was raised as a Catholic. But I always thought it was so unfair that religion and men, priests, have a right to tell you what you can and can’t do with your body. does not make sense.”
Glenn said she refers to her birth control pills as “Liberty Pills” and plans to help make abortion pill options available to those who use Roe v. Can’t reach them when Wade is reversed.
Noah Slater of Manassas, Virginia
Slater, 20, decided to protest against abortion after being part of a family that raised 10 children.
“The people on the abortion side like to say that foster caregivers’ lives can be terrifying. Who’s to say their lives are going to be terrible? The babies sleeping in my front room, there are people who think they killed Should have gone,” he said.
Slater said opponents of abortion rights are drawn to a state-by-state battle to restrict the procedure and promote adoption and foster care options.
“In the first movement there was a fight, a national fight. And now we will have 50,” he said.
Abby Thomas of Los Angeles
Dressed in green and white paint on his cheeks and forehead, 27-year-old Thomas spent five days protesting outside the courtroom.
“A lot of organizations are at the point where they are planning for a post-row world. But it is easier to fight for our rights while we still have them,” she said.
Thomas said the abortion rights community was expecting a massive backlash at the polling booth if the court makes rules to remove federal abortion protections.
“If this is reversed, the vast majority of the country supports abortion access,” she said, “and I expect the majority of the country to come out, to show the Supreme Court and the Republican Party that they have supported American abortion. To what extent injustice has been done to the people.”
Tanya Ditti of Alexandria, Virginia
Ditti, 62, wore a black T-shirt that read, “She prays, she votes.”
Wade, a teenager, said that the issue of abortion should be decided by the states, not by the federal government, “where those closest to the local government can influence their state legislators.”
“We will continue to go to the homes of those states year after year, and put in effort and effort and effort,” she said. “We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the pregnancy centers and churches that provide services. It is not true that we will not support women, we will provide avenues.”
Akerin Shropshire of Silver Spring, Maryland
A kindergarten teacher in Montgomery County, Shropshire, 47, and a friend demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in May and later joined a small protest outside a judge’s home.
“We’re not being heard and it’s scary,” she said.
If Roe v. Wade is reversed, Shropshire sees the abortion fight moving to the states.
“I do a lot of travel, crossing state lines to get medical attention people want or may need. I see an increase in deaths for women who go to those states for medical help. Not being able to cross borders easily,” she said.
Bela Cross of Chappaqua, New York
Though still a teenager and unable to vote, Cross convinced her parents to take a bus to Washington to protest for several days with fellow members of the activist group Rise Up 4 abortion rights. are living together.
Cross, 15, said he is deeply disappointed by his inability to cast a vote on the issue, and fears that Roe v. It may take years of struggle to reverse the rollback of Wade’s abortion protections.
“Being outside the Supreme Court, for me it is representation because the people making this decision are there. It is an image of the power that these judges have,” she said.
Alexandra McPhee of Arlington, Virginia
McPhee came to the Supreme Court with the anti-abortion advocacy group Concerned Women for America, where she is director of government relations.
“I want to come here to show that this is an issue that I care about that I believe there is a greater protection for life for all women, for all families. And this decision will make it possible,” said 29-year-old McPhee.
Kristal Surowicz of Chevrolet, Maryland
Surowicz, 58, wore a black judge’s cloak covered with a red plastic coat hanger.
“I’m a strong supporter of women’s rights and I think abortion is a necessary evil. We don’t think we should go out and promote abortion, but we do think it needs to be made available,” she said. The consequences of its non-availability are enormous. Part of it is controlling women but it also affects women’s health.”
Surowicz, an audiologist, acknowledged that defenders of abortion rights face an uphill battle. “We need to choose more officers who will be helpful.”