Several hundred people marched from Boardman Arts Park to Delaware City Hall Sunday afternoon to hold a “We Won’t Go Back” rally after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Friday ended nearly 50 years of constitutional protection for abortions.
The Associated Press reported Friday that the court’s overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
Peg Watkins, chair of the Delaware County Democratic Party, said she and others held a demonstration Sunday afternoon in downtown Delaware to protest the Supreme Court ruling.
“We demonstrated that this is a widely held view that the ruling on Friday was horrible,” Watkins said. “For me, my immediate reaction is that women are going to die and it’s just not necessary. I don’t understand why people who don’t want the government interfering with their right to a gun want the government interfering with a very personal, difficult decision.”
Watkins said the ban on abortions “puts women’s lives at risk.”
“Just being pregnant (is risky),” Watkins said. “People die in childbirth. We haven’t stopped that with medical science and no law will stop that from happening. Things can go wrong between the point of conception and childbirth. That presents medical problems for people to deal with and they’re difficult. Not every abortion situation is because someone changed their mind or made a free choice that ‘no, I don’t want to have this baby.’”
Watkins said Monday she is encouraging people to vote to protect their right to an abortion.
“The only way to change this is to get more Democrats elected, even though this should not be a partisan issue,” Watkins said.
She added Republicans were welcome at Sunday’s event, adding, “I don’t think this is what the Republican Party used to stand for.”
Watkins said the peaceful demonstration lasted for about an hour, and there were numerous supportive honks from passing cars.
Beth Vanderkooi, executive director of Greater Columbus Right to Life, celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision in a press release issued Friday. She said the Supreme Court had overturned “what history will see as one of the great injustices of our republic,” but she added the organization’s mission continues.
“To those celebrating today, this is not the end of our work,” Vanderkooi said. “It is truly only the beginning. A court decision or the enactment of a law will not eliminate the political efforts to expand and enshrine abortion in the laws and hearts of our people. Moreover, it does not eliminate the very real problems and challenges of unexpected or distressing pregnancies. We need to continue and expand the work that we are already doing to meet women in their need, walk with them, and help to build more solid families and futures.”
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio posted a messaged on its website stating the organization shared its clients’ frustration and anger over the ruling.
“Today, we know that settled law is no longer settled and the precedent of Roe v. Wade is now overturned,” the organization said. “Our doors are still open. We will do everything in our power to ensure every person’s right to bodily autonomy is upheld. Our health centers have and will remain trusted health care partners for patients across Ohio. Planned Parenthood stands for care — without exception or condition.”
The Associated Press reported that a ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat became the law in Ohio on Friday following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The AP reported that enforcement of Ohio’s 2019 “heartbeat” ban had been on hold for nearly three years under a federal court injunction, but Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asked for the injunction to be dissolved because of the high court’s ruling, and a federal judge agreed hours later.
Critics had argued that the measure essentially prohibits abortions because the first detectable fetal heartbeat can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant, the AP reported.