Less than a day after it was leaked that the U.S. Supreme Court was prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, a crowd gathered at the University of Wyoming campus to protest the expected end of the high court’s protection of abortion rights.

The Tuesday protest on Prexy’s Pasture was organized by Solana Quistorff, a master’s student in English, who said she’d never been involved in organizing a political rally before but felt compelled to do something to reflect the frustration she and other women she knows felt. Dozens turned out.

Solana Quistorff helped organize the May 3, 2022 rally in Laramie to support abortion access. (Ana Castro/WyoFile)

“I can’t just take this one anymore, and I decided it was my turn,” she said. “So many people have been doing so many great things. I hadn’t put forth this kind of effort before, so I just decided it was my turn to carry the torch a little bit.”

While such protests might not change the Supreme Court’s final decision, Quistorff said they have value in “giving each other the space to be angry and to be hurt.

“Sometimes you just need a little solidarity, and something to show you’re not just going to hide,” she said.

Racheal Pinkham makes a sign in support of abortion access during a May 3, 2022 rally in Laramie. (Ana Castro/WyoFile)

Jenny Tabler, an assistant professor of sociology, said she attended the protest as a show of support for students stressed about the opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito.

While the court’s plan to overturn Roe v. Wade didn’t surprise her, Tabler said she’s concerned about the decision’s impact on “bodily autonomy and access to necessary health resources.”

Tabler’s academic work focuses on the sociology of health. She said the end of all federal abortion protections is especially concerning in a time when some states are considering abortion laws that “seem vindictive,” like bills that would bar treatment of ectopic pregnancies, in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus and is not viable.

After reading the entirety of Alito’s first draft, sophomore Artemis Langford said she was “freaking furious” at the opinion’s tone.

A senator in UW’s student body majoring in secondary education of social studies, Langford said that if the Supreme Court won’t continue to protect such rights, she expects the public will elect representatives who will.

“I think it shows how fallen the Supreme Court has become,” she said. “It’s an institution that has lots of dark periods in its history, from decisions on slavery and the legalization of segregation, but for the most part it’s been an institution that all Americans could agree was the sanest of our branches of government. Now it’s filled with partisan justices [appointed] in a very partisan manner to the court, and there’s just increasing partisanship.”

Daniel Bendtsen is a freelance journalist living in Green River. He previously spent five years working at the Riverton Ranger and Laramie Boomerang. Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Bendtsen...

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  1. I join the protest!!! There is a theory of just war; there is a theory of just execution; if men got pregnant, there would be a theory of just abortion. Meanwhile, as an 82-year-old great-grandmother, my take is that abortion should be a legal medical procedure, a decision for the woman, her partner (if there is one), her doctor, & her spiritual advisor (if there is one) to make, without the interference of politics.

    1. If men could get pregnant then there would be Free abortion clinics on every corner.

  2. FYI, when I taught at UW students who needed abortions got them in Fort Collins as by then– roughly 20 years ago– abortions weren’t easily available in Wyoming and in any case the Fort Collins’ clinic was closer than whatever other options existed.. One student told me that the clinic in FC was so mobbed that clients were seated on the steps waiting their turn. There was also a fund administered by a private group in Lander, to which I contributed, to help women who needed abortions and couldn’t afford them or the travel expenses at the time. If Roe is abolished not a whole lot will change for Laramie ( or Wyoming) women. But the fund, and others, need to be ( anonymously) re-established and there needs to be an extremely proactive attempt to give students information, not only about abortion methods and clinics but birth control , too. Protesting should be augmented by planning..

  3. Taxpayer money should not be allowed to pay for the abortion. Plus I would bet these people screaming “MY BODY MY CHOICE” are same exact group that criticized the ones that didn’t get vaccinated. Shut off all the 501C dark money flowing in. All the protests stop. Now there something Cheney can bring a bill on. Shut down the 501C.

    1. I never knew pregnancy was as contagious as covid??

      1 million dead from covid and you choose to still downplay it. Proves that those who consider themselves “pro-life” are really just pro-birth. If you were really pro life, you’d want to be vaccinated to protect others… right?

      1. Nope. If the vaccine works, it works. If it doesn’t, so much the better.
        Thanks for not putting off the inevitable.
        I will be the first to say, “Give these women cab-fare to Fort Collins!”
        Reproduction requires responsible behavior. I see none here.

        1. Women who get pregnant via rape or incest are irresponsible? And those who suffer from medical conditions such as ectopic pregnancy?

        2. It was a bit of a rhetorical question, but thanks for admitting that you’re pro-birth and not “pro life”

    2. Larry doesn’t seem to understand that the Covid response and the one to this ruling are consistent. Larry you have the right to breath Covid in your own home, but you do not have the right to pollute others air in a public space. Larry you have the right to ask whether a child is vaccinated or whether it is getting a proper education, but you do not have to right to come into a home and look up a woman’s dress and tell her she must have a child.

      Larry put whatever you want into your own body, but once it comes out in the public space, whether it be air, waste water or a kid then you have a say. Society works best this way. The crafters of Roe made this point but Sam Alito used his beliefs in a 2000 year old book instead of the Constitution to make Larry think he is right.

      I also love that you are going after all these 501c entities as I have to laugh….as there are so few of these entities doing what is right for Wyoming and the USA which is why everything is private. There will be no movement on 501c because they benefit the wealthy doing wrong for the most part, but you complain when actually one is trying to benefit humans and our Constitutional Rights.