Today marks two weeks since the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion.In the week following this decision, Meredith College alum Kaylee Haas held a protest in New Bern, NC.
The court’s decision revokes the fundamental rights of women across America, and these laws will prove to have damaging mental and physical effects. Haas, inspired to show the people of her community that they do in fact have a powerful voice, shows that there are many ways to become involved and fight against laws that ban abortion.
Holding a protest was surprisingly easier than Haas thought. For her, obtaining a permit was the “easiest process ever.” She then had to wait for approval from the New Bern Parks and Recreation Department. On the day of the protest, Haas “wanted to let the community speak,” so other than the introduction she gave, the floor was open for anyone to speak. Haas also explained that she is open to planning and holding more protests since meeting the “wonderful people” in her community who are supporting these protest efforts. Haas, growing up in a conservative town, felt out of place and “felt that [her] voice never truly mattered and people tried to show [her] that it didn’t.” She then realized that it was far from true and that change started with her.
Haas also encourages Meredith students to “join Raleigh area protests and organizations” like the Triangle Abortion Access Coalition, which allows people to volunteer and help those seeking abortions. There are many other ways to get involved and contribute towards these efforts locally; organizations like Pro-Choice North Carolina, the Carolina Abortion Fund (CAF), the Center for Reproductive Rights and more are a few organizations to support.
Haas also has a message for women across America: “People who we will never know and people who we love today have been fighting for years. We have to keep that fire going. We need and will make change[s].” She encourages women and communities to lean on each other and support other women in this fight.
By Shae-Lynn Henderson, Staff Writer