Aftermath of Roe v. Wade ruling: ‘Millions, millions will suffer because of this setback’

Floridians rally for abortion rights but ‘the struggle never ends’

By: and - June 24, 2022 7:59 pm

Lauren Brenzel with Planned Parenthood speaks at the Florida Historic Capitol building following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections under Roe v. Wade. June 24, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion, protesters rallied Friday evening to support abortion rights and try to figure out what to do about the dramatic change in the abortion landscape.

“We must organize or die,” said Barbara DeVane, a longtime Florida lobbyist and a lobbyist for the National Organization for Women, who spoke at the rally.

Barbara DeVane speaks at the Florida Historic Capitol building following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion protections under Roe v. Wade. June 24, 2022. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

DeVane and dozens to hundreds of people gathered at the Florida Historic Capitol building in the scorching hot weather in the state capital. Cars beeped and honked, and protesters held signs such as “We Won’t Go Back,” “Mind Your Own Uterus” and “Abort Scotus,” referring to the U.S. Supreme Court justices who struck down Roe v. Wade after nearly 50 years.

“I didn’t think it would happen,” said Danielle Ochoa, from Tallahassee, who participated in the rally organized by Students for a Democratic Society.

“It was just a draft. It was a leak,” Ochoa said. That was a reference to an earlier leaked draft by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who indicated that the high court would overturn Roe v. Wade.

That draft, or at least the final document, became a reality, upending some 50 years of abortion access.

DeVane, the lobbyist, said, “The struggle never ends. Our enemy never sleeps. And they have tons of money to organize. But do you know what? I’m very optimistic because we have tons of people who believe in all human rights.”

That said, “Millions, millions will suffer because of this setback and it’s only a setback, because rich white women who have money have always been able to get an abortion,” DeVane said. “Either go to another country, or their family doctor….this will not abolish abortion. It will only harm women of color and poor women the most.”

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.

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