New Yorkers rallied en masse Friday night to protest the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the historic constitutional protection that had given women the right to abortion for the past 50 years.
After news of the ruling broke Friday morning, organizers including NYC for Abortion Rights and Planned Parenthood planned rallies in iconic Manhattan locations like Washington Square Park and Union Square, respectively.
In Washington Square Park, the Washington Arch dwarfed the crowds of people chanting “we will rise” and clutching signs promoting phrases like “my body, my choice” and “overthrow Roe? Hell no!”
the independent spoke to protesters throughout the park about what compelled them to come forward and talk about Roe being overturned.
Lucy Trieshmann, who works for the ACLU, told me she “can’t be pregnant” so this SCOTUS decision “directly threatens my ability to live the life I do.” Her friend, Sueli Gwiazdowski, echoed Trieshmann’s sentiments.
“Having bodily autonomy ensures that I continue to survive and thrive,” they told me.
Along the same lines as Gwiazdowski, 27-year-old Jess Yu brought two posters to share her feelings on the situation.
“Bodily autonomy is something that matters a lot to me and the SCOTUS decision broke my heart,” she told me.
Lucas Charles said that when he woke up this morning to the news, “he started crying and screaming.”
“It doesn’t just affect women… this is disgusting and I’m ashamed to be in a place where this is my government,” she said, showing me her sign that read, “They won’t stop at Roe.” The poster makes reference to SCOTUS potentially reconsidering and overturning other historical rulings, such as sex and same-sex marriage.
Ansel Bloom’s poster, which featured the transgender pride flag, jutted out from under the center of the Washington Arch. His sign simply read: “I would not have survived a pregnancy.”
the news about Roe it not only incited New Yorkers to protest. Natalija Knipse, who did not reveal where she hails from, told me that she is not an American, but that her ruling made her angry and furious.
“I am not an American and it is an abomination that my American friends still have to deal with this politicized decision-making,” he said.
The animals even got involved in the fight to support bodily autonomy. One furry friend, a puppy named Latke but who goes by the name Lottie, carried a sign that read: “Abortion is health care.”
Lottie’s owner told me that she “speaks for everyone who identifies as female or has a uterus” and that she “feels it’s important to make your own decision, if you’re a human being.”
Amid more chanting and the growing crowd, a comment from one protester to another made me stop and talk to them. They told their friends how good it felt to be among the thousands of people who showed up to support Roe and speak against the court’s decision.
“It’s really validating to be in a space where everyone else is just as pissed off as I am,” Angel Macklin-Schwartz, 21, told me.