Seacoast Rallies Against U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade Overturn
Hundreds of women and men showed up at three Seacoast rallies Friday to show their anger at the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England put together the Bans off My Body rallies, which included Henry Law Park in Dover, Exeter Town Hall, and Market Square in Portsmouth.
The decision, which was leaked over a month ago, removes federal protections for abortion that have been place since 1973. Each state can determine the legality of abortion. Over half the states could ban abortions. Some have laws that trigger a ban if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
Abortions remain legal in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.
Chanting "my bodies, my choice", at least 600 filled Henry Law Park in Dover. The crowd was angry but invigorated and determined to rise up.
"There were no tears, just a coming together to fight. So, there was lots of clapping and cheering with powerful speeches and support," one person at the Dover rally told Seacoast Current.
In Portsmouth, Assistant Mayor Joanna Kelley noted that many at the rally were born after the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
"We are the next generation. We will not go back," Kelley told the crowd in Market Square.
Sen. Maggie Hassan said that her grandmother got the right to vote, her mother saw women get to make their own reproductive choices, and she was the second woman in history to be elected both a governor and a senator.
“We can’t go backwards. We can’t let this decision, which is leaving my daughter today with fewer rights than I had, be the final say on a woman’s freedom. That’s not the trajectory of the United States, it’s not the trajectory of the Granite State," Hassan said. "We move forward, we expand freedoms because we know that when everybody is included as a full and equal citizen in the United States of America, we get stronger, we get better, and we lead.”
Kayla Montgomery, VP of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England said being together to cope with the ruling was important to those at the rally in Concord.
"Even though we knew it was coming, it didn't take away from the fact that it was a shocking and devastating ruling. People were scared and concerned. This is the first time they've had a constitutionally affirmed right taken away from them," Montgomery said. "But people need to be in community. It is good for people to know that they are not alone, and that's why we had such incredibly huge turnouts across the state, because people want to be together and there is hope. We're going to keep fighting and rebuild."
OrganizeNH, a New Hampshire Democratic party group, plans a rally Saturday in Exeter.
Bans Off Our Bodies Rallies 6/24/22
Megan Murphy and Jolana Miller contributed to this report