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.
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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