MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Protesters marched in support of abortion rights in New York on Sunday, marking the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Chloe Alexander, 20, said she assumed that women would have the same right to choose that women in previous generations had, but the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back Roe v. Wade last June changed that.
“It breaks my heart,” Alexander said. “It strips away our ability to make choices for ourselves.”
Although she lives in a state where abortions are legal, Alexander and her friends marched on behalf of others who don’t have the same access.
“I also have family in different southern states who, if in the likely possibility they get pregnant, it will absolutely have a complete shift in the direction of their life,” she said.
Protestor Steve Quester felt no one should be forced to be a mom.
“We see women in terrible medical distress unable to access abortion care and we see women having to break the law just to decide what they want to do with their body,” Quester said.
The protest that kicked off at Washington Square Park on Sunday was part of hundreds of demonstrations in cities across the United States marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The flagship march took place in Madison, Wisconsin, where an upcoming special election could help determine access to abortion.
“We need to expressly pass abortion rights at the local level, state level and federal level. It’s important for all people, trans people, gender non-conforming people, Black people especially. Maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are incredibly high for Black women. Black women are four times more likely to die during or after childbirth than other women,” said march attendee Shannelle Matthews.
The annual events are the latest iteration of the Women’s March, which launched in 2017 following the election of former President Donald Trump. An anti-abortion rally was held on Friday in Washington in advance of Sunday’s pro-abortion rights marches — the opposing rallies showing the matter is far from settled.
“A woman’s right to autonomy for her body, which is something that most of who have been marching have had for our entire lives, is being stripped away from us and future generations,” said Karin Schall as she marched.
The theme for the marches this year was Bigger than Roe.