Philadelphia's outpouring due to SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade spawned tumultuous and deafening cries; not only from those directly impacted by the decision, but also families, friends, medical community, and so many others. Activists flooded City Hall, loudly proclaiming their right to rally by protesting, chanting “Tell me what democracy looks like?!”…followed by, “This is what democracy looks like!!”. Other chants included “Abortion is healthcare!!” and called out the Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn the historic ruling that made abortion legal and safe for over 49 years.
The 1973 ruling, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The "Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States generally protects the liberty to choose to have an abortion", in a 7-2 vote. As speculated earlier this year, it was overturned on June 24, 2022, 5-4 vote. A leaked draft was published by Politico on May 2 that stated that the Supreme Court would overturn the constitutional right to abortion. After almost 50 years of safe and legal right to abortion, the Supreme Court voted to allow individual states to determine whether to ban abortions. In states such as Texas and Ohio, abortion is already banned due to immediate trigger laws, prompting those seeking abortions to travel to neighboring states. It is expected that about half the states will move to ban abortions. Pennsylvania is expected to remain a pro-choice state under Governor Wolf but a deeply concerned future hovers over the state’s pro-choice stance and is contingent on the results of the gubernatorial election on November 8, 2022.
This reversal is expected to have far reaching effects that will not only affect women's reproductive freedom, but their autonomous choices, have significant health implications, contraception, same-sex marriage, and the LGBTQIA community. Several law professors wrote in Rolling Stone magazine that the Supreme Court’s decision “condemns women to second-class citizenship”. Rolling Stone states that, “The court aims to bend the moral arc backward, telling pregnant people that they are not equal because the government can control what they do with their body”.
In Philadelphia, within the crowd of over 1000 protestors, the public censure was palpable from not only the youth but also those who already protested during the first Roe V. Wade decision. They fought this fight and won over 50 years ago. A woman held up a sign reading, ”I MARCHED FOR ROE V. WADE FIFTY YEARS AGO”.
Another sign read, ”I will not go quietly back to the 1950s!”
Muriel Kudera, a grandmother to three granddaughters, exclaimed, “It is horrendous that a bunch of "others“ [men] should determine how women may manage their health!!!” Kudera was marching once again having marched alongside other women who marched in 1972 and 1973 before Roe v. Wade became law of the United States to protect the right to choose to have an abortion. When referring to her granddaughters, incredulously she stated, “They now have fewer rights than I did.”
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For a full SCOTUS ruling see: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf
For Gov. Wolf’s statement of the SCOTUS ruling see:
For PA state and gubernatorial election see:
For the original SCOTUS ruling Roe v. Wade (1973) see:
1 - Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett
2 - Leaked Draft published by Politico: https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000180-874f-dd36-a38c-c74f98520000