Advocates on both sides of the abortion rights issue map out next steps
6/27/2022 | Rafael Sanchez-Cruz
For the third day following the overturn of the Roe v. Wade decision, protesters on both sides of the abortion rights issue gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
Advocates for abortion rights attempted to drown out an anti-abortion religious group which led to moments of tension, but demonstrators are also gearing up for what is next.
“Everyone thinks that as ‘pro-lifers’ we’ve won and we really haven’t,” said Lisa Andresen to WUSA9. The Arizona native says Friday’s ruling is just the beginning for anti-abortion groups.
“This is just the beginning. Instead of having one big fight at the federal level, we now have 50 at the state level,” said Andresen, who is an ambassador for Live Action. She says she is in favor of the 15-week abortion bans being considered by some states but would rather take it one step further.
“I would like to see them go with no abortion at all,” she said.
Andresen says groups like hers will push for bans on abortion pills and people traveling out of the state to receive abortion services, but she draws the line at the criminalization of people.
Abortion rights advocates have their eyes set on mid-term elections and states where abortion services are protected.
“I think it’s time for state legislatures to make sure that abortion will remain legal in the states that will prove as haven states,” said Divya Jain, a medical student who traveled to D.C. to be part of the protests. “A lot of patients from hostile states will have to travel to other blue states that will continue to provide abortions.”
One of those so-called “haven states” is Maryland, considered by some groups as the southernmost “safe” state for abortion access.
Democrats are planning to codify abortion rights protections in the state’s constitution, but the former board president of Planned Parenthood Maryland and candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Michelle Siri, is calling for a special session of the General Assembly on this issue.
“We need to pass the legislation that we started in January, that will create a constitutional amendment in Maryland, enshrining the right to an abortion,” said Siri following a Friday rally in Wheaton.
Others, like Caitlin Dicara and her roommates, are taking to the streets sharing information on services available for safe self-controlled abortions. Dicara says now is the moment to reach out to grass roots organizations that have been fighting in the reproductive health realm for decades.
“Know those organizations, get in contact with those organizations, volunteer, if they are not looking for volunteers, donate. Volunteer for other phone lines that are not necessarily in your local area” Dicara said.
Demonstrations across the country are expected to continue throughout the weeks as states continue making changes on abortion rights.
Groups are organizing on social media and planning protests in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the upcoming days. One group, called Shout Your Abortion, is asking people to show up on Independence Day in red, white and blue.