Students gather to protest Roe v. Wade majority initial draft

The Supreme Court is set to roll back Roe v. Wade, giving every state the option to prohibit abortion access

Courtesy of Anshul Singh

Courtesy of Anshul Singh

By Ariana Gonzalez, Collegian Staff

On Tuesday, the Survivor’s Justice Coalition organized a protest in front of Worcester Dining Commons to protest the initial draft of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The draft decision was leaked by Politico on Monday.

Justice John Roberts confirmed the validity of the leaked document on Tuesday. The draft majority indicates a favor toward overruling the 1973 decision, giving every state the option of allowing or prohibiting abortion laws and taking away the constitutional protection for abortion.

“Thank you guys for coming out and showing your support. This is a really f*****g serious issue and we’re all scared to death,” Ava Hawkes, a sophomore social thought and political economy and economics double major, said to the crowd. “Thank you guys for being cooperative with our organizing.”

The protest had been announced through Survivor’s Justice Coalition’s Instagram earlier in the day. Protesters got to Worcester with no signs or having had previous plans to attend. They all convened with each other to create signs to hold up during the protest.

Josie Whitmore, a freshman biochemistry and molecular biology major, said, “I’m very terrified. It starts with one thing being overturned and we’re going to keep being oppressed. The laws are not working in our favor. They’re working against us at this point.”

Protesters planned to occupy both sides of the sidewalk on North Pleasant St., the street in front of Worcester Dining Commons, and point their signs toward the passing cars.

After a while, protesters decided to march to Amherst Town Hall to continue their protest. On the way there, cars would honk in favor of the protest and residents would go out into their balconies and cheer the protesters on. At times, the PVTA buses that were passing by would honk in favor as well.

Heather Godsell and Tatiana Cruise are two seventh grade students from the Pioneer Valley of Performing Arts school in South Hadley who decided to join the protest after watching the students march toward Town Hall.

“I think that the fact that they’re banning abortions is really unsafe and really unhealthy, and it makes me as a young woman feel unempowered and useless and I feel like a toy to the male gaze,” said Godsell.

“It’s not really fair to say ‘hey you should do this to your body because I get to decide for you’” followed Cruise.

When students reached Amherst Town Hall, they stood on the stairs in front of the door to the building. Students then passed around a megaphone where people shared their opinions on the Roe v. Wade initial draft and added any personal anecdotes.

Nicolas Cardona, a social thought and political economy and history double major, said, “The right of abortion is a fundamental human right and it has historically been won by a very militant struggle.” Cardona continued, “This is affecting the world in España (Spain), Colombia, Chile and currently in Mexico and Costa Rica. Working class women are organizing themselves and fighting in the streets for this right. and the working class women in this country want to do the same.”

Ariana Gonzalez can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Arianaggonzz