June 24, 2022 Roe v. Wade news
For a high school senior, her college of choice could boil down to abortion rights
On Friday, from Washington Square Park up to Union Square, past Madison Square Park and the outdoor diners in the Flatiron — some whooping encouragement; some gazing in bafflement — New Yorkers marched.
The air was filled with chants of “Illegitimate Court" and "Pro-Life? It’s a lie, people die!” Cyclists dressed in black blocked off the cross streets, frustrating some drivers.
Watching from the sidewalk, cheering on the protesters, were 17-year-old Eden Kaplan and 16-year-old Sophie Kirk. The two high school students had found out about the Supreme Court's decision this morning, through a barrage of posts on friends’ Instagram stories.
“I would want to say I was surprised, but I don't really feel like I was,” Kaplan said. “My (20-year-old) sister also came in the room screaming and crying about what was happening.”
Already, the future looks more limited. A rising senior, Kaplan has yet to settle on a college, and is pondering which state to spend the next years of her life. After today, the range of options has been severely curtailed, she said.
“Thinking forward to my future, that this is gonna have an impact on where I choose to live when I'm older, where I choose to go to college, is ridiculous. I'm not even going to consider going to college in places where I won't be able to get an abortion,” she said.
As they spoke, Kaplan and Kirk passed a hand-drawn sign back and forth: “My body is not a political battleground.”
“It shouldn't be up for debate, period,” Kirk said. “It doesn't make sense. I don't understand why people care so much about what other women do with their body.”
Protesters in New York: "It's like seeing the train coming toward you, and it still hurts"
They saw it — for real, for the first time, on Instagram and on Twitter, in emails and from links and texts from family.
They knew it was coming, but for many of the women protesting in New York City on Friday afternoon and evening, some sitting and watching, others marching, prepared with scrawled-over t-shirts — “Bans off my body” — and an array of furious, witty and acerbic signs, the simple fact of it was almost too much to bear: Roe v. Wade had been overturned. Abortion, safe and legal, is now or will imminently be banned for millions across the country.
"It’s like seeing the train coming toward you," said Julia Kaluta, who received the news on her 24th birthday. "And you finally get hit by it. And it still hurts more than you ever thought."
Kaluta was in Washington Square Park as the city’s protest hub filled up a little before 6:30 p.m. No one was quite sure where the march was heading — they just wanted to be there, to be together. Even if it changed nothing. Hoping it would change something, if only a little, for someone who could not be there.
Mia Khatcherian, 32, felt a pang of guilt at her first reaction to the court’s decision: She was happy to live in New York state, where abortion is expected to remain a protected right under state law. "It felt selfish," she said.
The daughter of a Filipina mother and Armenian father, Khatcherian knew that people would be watching. "Knowing that women of color are going to bear the brunt of this decision" made sitting home, raging on social media, an impossibility, she said — so she joined those on the street.
“I want women in other states to see the swell of support — that the sheer number (of demonstrators) sends a message," she said.
Protests outside the Supreme Court are peaceful so far, CNN correspondents say
Protests outside the Supreme Court on Friday have been peaceful so far, according to CNN correspondents on the scene. People are speaking out against the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The opinion is the most consequential Supreme Court decision in decades and will transform the landscape of women's reproductive health in America.
Going forward, abortion rights will be determined by states, unless Congress acts. Already, nearly half of the states have or will pass laws that ban abortion while others have enacted strict measures regulating the procedure.
Hundreds of people on both sides of the issue are outside the building in Washington, DC, to make their voices heard. CNN Correspondent Donie O'Sullivan said some are activists who have been working on this issue while others are tourists from states who are already implementing abortion restrictions.
Many of the protesters are expressing concern not just about abortion, but also about what comes next — including possible changes to other issues like same-sex marriage that also hinge on the right to privacy, O'Sullivan reported.
CNN Law Enforcement Correspondent Whitney Wild said demonstrations at the Supreme Court have been peaceful. There has not been a reason for Capitol Police or any other agencies to intervene with the crowd, Wild said, and there have not been any arrests. She said law enforcement is still concerned about domestic violent extremists who may see the large crowds as an opportunity for violence.
Groups like Planned Parenthood, Bans Off Our Bodies, and Women’s March are among the activist groups organizing the events across the country, including in Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Houston.
After news broke that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, activist groups began organizing protests for Friday.
Groups like Planned Parenthood, Bans Off Our Bodies, and Women’s March are among the activist groups organizing the events.
Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Houston are among the cities where protests will occur or are already underway.
Abortion rights demonstrator climbs bridge to protest overturning of Roe v. Wade
An abortion rights advocate climbed to the top of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, DC, Friday to protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The bridge is currently shut down, according to the District's Department of Transportation, who said in a statement the closure is due to "safety concerns involved with protest activity and will remain in effect until further notice."
Guido Reichstadter posted videos and photos of himself on social media from the top of the bridge where he unfurled a large green banner. Green is recognized as a symbol of abortion rights. Reichstadter also planted a flag on the bridge that reads: “Don’t tread on my uterus."
"I climbed up the top of the Frederick Douglas Memorial bridge this morning because the Supreme Court is engaged in an unconstitutional treasonous attack on the rights of women in this country," Reichstadter said in a TikTok video he posted from the top of the bridge.
Reichstadter told CNN on the phone that he intends to stay on top of the bridge for as long as he physically can. Reichstadter is without water after his bottle fell out of his bag when he arrived to the top, he said.
He told CNN that while many people in the US oppose the Supreme Court's decision, their support is largely passive, which he says is not enough to ensure that women have access to abortions across the country.��
Ohio governor asks people to have a "civil debate" after SCOTUS ruling on Roe v. Wade
"It's going to be very easy to let this debate get down and be rough and tough and there is nothing wrong with a spirited debate, but I think the way that we do it and do it in a civil way and with respect for each other is important," DeWine said. “We must do it in a way that recognizes that smart, sincere, dedicated, and caring people can have very, very different and equally heartfelt views,” he added.
DeWine said he would be working with the General Assembly and local communities to improve the quality of pre- and post-natal care, mental care for mothers and children, among other measures.
“I believe that all Ohioans want this state to be the most pro-family, pro-child state in the country, and we are making great progress in creating an environment here in Ohio where families and children can thrive and live up to their full potential,” DeWine said.
Texas valedictorian who went viral for abortion rights speech says to use fear as motivation
Paxton Smith, the Texas teen who went viral after changing her valedictorian speech to speak out against the state’s abortion law last year, told CNN the energy at the Supreme Court Friday “was high and it was angry,” following the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Smith has been in Washington, DC, since last Friday in anticipation of the decision, she told CNN.
“A lot of people are just really, really angry and kind of coping with this feeling of disbelief that in America, the so-called ‘land of the free’ and ‘land of the equal,’ a human right has been taken away from so many people,” she said.
“I’m feeling fairly disappointed, and I guess, I mean, the main feeling is fear,” she described.
Smith, who is now 19 years old and just finished her first year at the University of Texas at Austin, has been advocating for abortion access since her viral speech last year. She is on the board of an abortion fund and abortion advocacy organization and just attended a human rights conference in Switzerland, she said.
Asked what she would say to other young women who feel similar to her Friday, Smith said: “If you’re feeling afraid, that’s your sign to do something about it, to get involved in the fight. Go to protests. Reach out to your politicians, and if you can, get involved in any other way donating your time, your money.”
“Don’t let that fear kind of just sit on the side. Use it and use it as motivation for your work,” Smith said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a new law strengthening abortion rights in the state, following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
As he signed the bill, Newsom described feeling "pissed, resolved and angry.”
“Never would this happen if men were the ones having babies – ever – and you know that, and I know that. Every damn person knows that. And that's the elephant in the room,” Newsom said. “Because women are treated as second-class citizens in this country. Women are treated as less than. Women are not as free as men. That's pretty damn sick.”
California’s new law, passed by the state legislature on Thursday, will create a protective shield against any potential civil action originating outside the state for anyone performing, assisting, or receiving an abortion in the state. AB 1666 will protect not just California residents but anyone visiting the state seeking reproductive health care.
The new law is just one of more than a dozen bills making their way through the legislature, aiming to strengthen and protect abortion access. Other proposed bills would seek to focus on root causes of reproductive health inequities, enhance privacy protections, and allow qualified nurse practitioners to provide first-trimester abortions.
“This decision is unique. It is historical. It is unprecedented in a horribly tragic way,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “This decision is an attack on privacy, on freedom, on self-determination on equality. This decision is an attack on women. It's an attack on women's equality. It's an attack on pregnant people.”
Bonta and Newsom were joined by other lawmakers determined to strengthen the state’s laws and ensure women in other states with more restrictive laws know they can come to California to seek health care.
“California is a safe haven for those who seek abortion care. Abortion remains fully legal in California. Today’s decision does not impact our state’s laws. You have the right to an abortion here,” Bonta said. “In California, we refuse to turn back the clock and let radical ideologies exert control over your body.”
“This is a dark day for our little girls and all our children who will now come of age in a nation with fewer rights, fewer freedoms and fewer protections than the generations before them,” said Bonta, his voice quivering. “That is not progress.”
California has also introduced an amendment adding reproductive health care as a fundamental right to the state’s constitution, which will go before voters in November.
The amendment reads: “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. This section is intended to further the constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by Section 1, and the constitutional right to not be denied equal protection guaranteed by Section 7. Nothing herein narrows or limits the right to privacy or equal protection.”
“I hope if nothing else, this decision wakes people up,” the California governor said.
“This is not just about choice, it is not just about reproductive freedom,” Newsom insisted, mentioning marriage equality, interracial marriage, and transgender rights. “They're coming after you next,” he warned.