More than 50 people gathered outside the federal courthouse in Baltimore on Tuesday evening to rally against a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would throw out the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling.
The rally, organized by Baltimore Women United, was the first of many events organizers and community leaders said they’re planning.
“We can’t be complacent,” said Denise Gilmore, co-chair of Baltimore Women United. “Women deserve access to health care of their choosing.”
Lynn McCann, co-director of the Baltimore Abortion Fund, said the organization has been mobilizing over the past several years, preparing for a possible decision that would overturn Roe. McCann said it’s more important now than ever before for people to volunteer with local abortion organizations or to donate.
“It’s devastating to think about all the women who will lose health care,” McCann said. “This is just not a decision the court should be deciding.”
[ Maryland prepares to increase its abortion capacity as future of Roe v. Wade in doubt ]
The 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalized abortion nationwide. A decision to overrule it would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The court is expected to rule on the case before its term ends in late June or early July.
Dozens of people lined up outside the Edward A. Garmatz United States District Courthouse chanting, “This is what democracy looks like” and waving signs that read “Bans off our bodies” and “Abortion is healthcare.”
One attendee, Bryan Appel, 43, brought his two daughters to the rally to “show them the importance of speaking up and to make sure they know abortion should never be political.”
Appel, who lives in the Cedmont neighborhood, said he’s spoken to his girls, ages 4 and 9, about abortion since they’ve been born. He wanted them to understand that it is their body and if or when the time comes, they can do what they want with it.
“The same way I talk with them about consent is the same way I talk with them about abortion,” he said. “I want them to know they have a choice and I want it to be normalized.”