Students Protest Potential Overturning of Roe v. Wade Decision

Students with signs at walkout

In response to a leaked Supreme Court draft regarding the potential overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade case, students participated in a walkout to support reproductive rights on May 11. At the end of period 5, participants met in the quad to listen to speeches, donate to Planned Parenthood, and hold signs showing their support.

Sophomore Rain Damon-Espinas organized the rally “with the intent of spreading awareness and inspiring other people to really speak out…against this overturning of Roe v Wade, and…against all the implications that it could create.”

Roe v. Wade (1973) was a landmark decision in which the Court ruled that in the 14th Amendment is a fundamental right that protects a pregant woman’s choice whether to have an abortion, according to Oyez. The Due Process clause in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution protects against state action regarding that right to privacy, making abortion legal across the United States.

However, a Supreme Court opinion draft was recently leaked to the public, revealing that the decision in Roe could be overturned in the near future. If this decision were to be overturned, many states would immediately ban or regulate abortion and other reproductive services, limiting or eliminating the right to choose nationwide.

Damon-Espinas said, “It…really restricts…people’s rights to choose if they want an abortion or not. That really sucks. So I was like, ‘I need to speak out about this.’”

Sophomore Zarah Thomas was 1 of the scheduled speakers at the walkout. In her speech, she focused on how the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade may disproportionately affect impoverished people in states with more stringent regulations and bans: “It is disproportionately harming the less wealthy, who are not able to travel out of state to get an abortion. We all deserve the right to choose what to do with our body.”

Other speakers highlighted how abortion bans affect marginalized communities, the dangers of unsafe abortions, and their personal thoughts on the imposing threat to reproductive freedom. Following the planned speakers, volunteers took the mic to speak their minds.

Rain added, “I was really impressed with our school. I was also super appreciative that…a lot of people turned up in support of women’s rights to choose because with our current community, it doesn’t always seem like that.”

Women’s Awareness on Campus (WAC) and organized a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, handing out cookies in exchange for Venmo Donations. Junior Anneliese McKenzie said, “I was really proud of how much people were seriously donating because the recommended [amount] was only $1. But I saw the majority of people donating up to $10, even $50.”

In total, around $400 was raised for the cause. “It just shows how much people genuinely care about the cause,” said McKenzie, “I think that it’s only going to go up from here in terms of publicizing the issue.”

Although advocating for abortion rights, contacting officials, and signing petitions can be vital steps, McKenize also stressed the importance of donating to organizations like Planned Parenthood that work to provide reproductive healthcare. “As an affluent community, that’s somewhere we can really shine and make change…At the end of the day, it really matters how much you’re willing to donate your time to the cause,” she added.

Rain noted that the fundraiser will remain open until the end of the school year.

They concluded, “Even though like the walkout already happened, the purpose of that wasn’t just to walk out…donate $1 and then be done. The purpose is to inspire you and to keep on protesting against what is going on right now.”