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.
“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.
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.”