More than 200 people on Friday (June 25) gathered in front of the Bob Casey federal courthouse in Houston, Texas, to voice their fear and anger hours after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, eliminating the United States (US) constitutional right to an abortion.
18-year-old student Ollie Otou-Branckaert hopes Friday’s protest translates to meaningful action.
“It feels like every time something major happens, every, we all go to like, we protests and protest, and it’s, it peaks at one point in the beginning and then it declines, Otou-Branckaert said.
“I’m genuinely hoping that people don’t forget about it this time. Because this is just going to continue to get worse if we don’t do anything.”
Texas is one of 13 states that in the past months approved the so-called trigger laws that restrict abortions once the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade is struck down.
Friday’s ruling also paves the way for about half of the 50 states to heavily restrict access to abortions.
Katy Jewett, a 42-year-old retired woman with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, told the crowd she made the decision to get an abortion after her doctor said her second pregnancy would bring back her cancer.
“It’s all about control. It’s all about control. And beyond that, I want to say: there are no good abortions. There’s just abortion,” Jewett said as the crowd cheered.
Last year, Texas enacted what was then the strictest anti-abortion law in the country, restricting the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.
The Republican-controlled state also passed a trigger-law that completely bans abortions once the Supreme Court issues a judgement on Roe v. Wade, inspiring other states legislatures to do the same.
It was a victory for conservatives, who have long sought to eliminate abortion access in the United States.
28-year-old Kaylie Day brought her young son to the protest after she became appalled by news of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“We don’t even have universal healthcare. Women are going to go into debt giving birth and it’s just, it’s a healthcare issue,” Day said.
Court ruling on US abortion laws: Nick Harper