Roe v. Wade overturned: How I reacted in the moments during and after

The importance of speaking up despite obstacles

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Allie

Throughout the day, we heard several amazing speakers. Some of us spoke and we even led chants

Allie Wang, Editor-in-Chief

The alarm rang on my phone, indicating the start of another day. It was Friday, June 24, and I had arrived in the District of Columbia just five days earlier for a two-week summer program. However, tension loomed in the air with the impending Roe v. Wade decision. The overturning of Roe v. Wade would mean the dismantling of federal and legal protections guaranteed for women; this decision would pave the way for several states to curtail or even ban abortion rights. 

Consumed with worry, new friends and I remained on high alert for updates, constantly refreshing various news sources that morning. 

At around 10 a.m, my group and I arrived at the top of Capitol Hill for a site visit of the United States Capitol. Led by our tour guide, we walked in between the Capitol and the Supreme Court, excited for our long-awaited tour. 

Suddenly, my roommate announced the news to our group. 

“It’s out. They overturned it,” she said, tears in her eyes. 

Looking up, we saw two crowds beginning to form in front of the Supreme Court. A group of anti-abortion activists stood celebrating. Bubbles and champagne were present as members of the group shouted with delight. Meanwhile, across a metal divider, a group of pro-choice activists were protesting, holding green signs reading ‘Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.’

“I was encouraged [to protest] because we were lucky to be at the right place at the right time,” wrote senior Kaitlyn Kikuchi of Chandler, Arizona. 

Keeping a steady watch for a gap in the crowd, I picked up a green sign, stood behind a large banner and linked arms with those around me. Multiple news crews circled around with their cameras, asking for interviews and taking pictures. 

After about an hour, lawmakers from Congress came and joined the fight. U.S. Representative Maxine Waters from California walked by with a raised fist. 

Others, like Alexandra Ocascio Cortez (AOC), joined the crowd amid the protestors. Cortez hopped over the barrier near where I was standing, and I was able to take a few photos of her before she disappeared into the crowd. 

“Seeing AOC was more unreal than anything because she’s like a celebrity but it was also kind of hopeful. Seeing her put in the work to be there made the day less bad,” Kikuchi wrote. 

After two hours of protesting in the day, we had to get back to class. However, we were able to protest again in the evening. After dinner, we hopped on public transportation with signs and joined the crowd once again. Other groups, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and Harriet’s Wildest Dreams were giving speeches. We met up with other friends in our program and began chanting, “My body, my choice”. There was a heavy police presence, and we even saw snipers on the roof of the Supreme Court aiming their firearms at the crowd.

Despite these obstacles, there we remained for three hours. 

“I think it was important to go and protest multiple times in order to make the most of our location,” wrote senior Caroline Flermeon of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “In my home town for example, there are not as many safe/efficient protests that I am able to attend. Because of this, I wanted to make as large of an impact as I could while we were here in Washington DC.” 

Protests also occurred in other states. OPHS senior Alex Quatami was able to protest in New York City. Quatami stressed the importance of the movement and why he decided it was necessary to join the protest.

“I wanted to contribute to correcting an injustice, or at least help express the country’s dissatisfaction,” Quatami wrote. 

As of Aug. 25, protests have died down, but the issue remains at large for women. If you are interested in this cause, you can continue helping in the following ways: 

  • Learn more about reproductive rights in your state.
  • Educate others and spread the word.