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Raleigh Abortion Rights Protest

Protesters holding neon yellow banner that says "Overturn Roe? Hell No!"
Photo by Aminah Jenkins

On Friday, June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson that overturned Roe v. Wade. Protesters across the country took to the streets that evening to show their dissent. Raleigh had its own protest at the Bicentennial Plaza to speak of the urgency of the issue for North Carolinians.

Victoria Smith, a sophomore in college, spoke on behalf of the Wake County Black Student Coalition. She spoke of the importance of intersectionality in abortion and noted how abortion rights advocacy is often dominated by white women. “From the Stonewall riots to [the] Black Panther Party, Black women have been leading this fight and [will] continue to do so,” she said.

Smith then addressed white people in the crowd with how they can better support Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) by quoting famed political activist Angela Davis, saying, “If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night.”

“You all must understand that this fight for reproductive justice and bodily autonomy is only a fraction of the capitalist systems put in place to continue oppressing minority communities,” Smith said.

Kelsea McLain, a member of the Triangle Abortion Access Coalition, spoke about her experience with having multiple abortions. She explained that access wasn’t just about having clinics in the area or legalizing abortion, but the cost as well. “It didn’t matter that I had an abortion clinic in my community,” she said. “It didn’t matter that I had [a] legal abortion in my state, what mattered [was] that I owed that clinic $500 and I had $10 in my bank account.”

McLain also works with Yellowhammer Fund, an abortion fund organization in Alabama. Patients called her the morning of the decision, saying that their abortion appointments had been cancelled with no explanation. She explained that some states like Georgia still allow abortions, but “that will erode quicker than you can imagine.”

Camila Cardoso, a member of El Pueblo, explained that abortion isn’t a new concept. “What has changed throughout history is access to safe abortions,” she said.

Protester holding sign that says "If the fetus you save is gay, will you continue to protect its rights?"
Photo by Aminah Jenkins

Cardoso explained that abortion bans only create more unsafe abortions. “I’m devastated and angry because I know who’s impacted the most by abortion bans,” she stated. “They’re low-income, Black, brown, people of color, immigrants [and] LGBT[QIA]+ members.”

“The only way we can ensure the sustainability [of] this fight is to ensure the protection of our peace and [be intentional about] the people we allow to take up space and energy within our lives,” Smith said.

To learn more about and support abortion funds in the area, visit the Carolina Abortion Fund website.

By Aminah Jenkins, Editor in Chief


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