CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – Large groups gathered Friday protesting the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Dozens were outside the Champaign County Courthouse. Others – also protesting at the capitol in Springfield.
But, it wasn’t all protesting. Many in support of the decision said they’ve been waiting for this day for decades. Those against it say they’ll keep fighting, including Illinois’ governor.
“It’s important that we channel this anger into building power, building a movement to change the system we live in because it goes beyond the Supreme Court,” protestor Hrant Kebantsi said.
The choice to have an abortion is no longer protected by the United States’ Constitution.
“I don’t have a uterus, I’m not so directly affected by this. But we have to fight like our own rights are threatened. In some ways they are,” Kebantsi said.
Protestors from all walks of life chanted outside the Champaign County Courthouse. Even though people in Illinois can still get abortions, organizers said they wanted to channel their pain into nationwide change.
“There are many reasons to be nervous, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. Whenever there is exploitation there is also resistance,” protestor Karla Sanabria said.
For one woman, this decision was personal. She had the procedure six years ago, and she said reproductive healthcare already wasn’t accessible for many others.
“If I didn’t have 300 dollars, if I didn’t have the mobility to get this procedure done, I would’ve had an unwanted pregnancy at a time that I wasn’t prepared to bring a child into the world,” Sanabria said.
Others are afraid the Supreme Court may decide to overturn other landmark decisions, like the case that protects same-sex marriage.
“We are here. We’re not going anywhere. We have every bit as much right to live our lives as anyone else does,” protestor Robb Winder said.
He said when he heard about the Supreme Court’s decision, he felt: “tears. And fury. And fear.”
Although these protestors say it was a sad and complicated day, others across the country celebrated. Anti-abortion advocates cheered outside the Supreme Court, because now, each state can decide whether to ban, restrict or continue protecting access to abortions.