Syracuse protesters call for ‘keeping abortion legal’ ahead of SCOTUS term

Protesters in Syracuse want the country’s highest court to ensure continued access to abortion.

An estimated 200 local attendees rallied this weekend to advocate for reproductive rights ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court term that begins on Monday – the 2021 session includes a case challenging the landmark Roe v. Wade. Saturday’s march in downtown Syracuse was part of a national movement to defend women’s right to choose.

In Syracuse, the participants came from Liverpool, Pompey and as far away as Oneida.

Syracuse March co-organizer Nada Odeh said the size of the event helped send a strong message.

“It is important for us in Syracuse to have a voice …” said Odeh, a community organizer. “We want to unite the community and make women feel safe.”

Speakers at the rally included State Assembly member Pamela Hunter, who sang “My Body, My Choice!” Your body, your choice! Protesters then spread across East Genesee Street as the group marched downtown for a rally in front of the Federal Building.

Sarah Young, a resident of Syracuse, said she attended the event to advocate for reproductive justice.

“Having access to contraceptive, newborn and abortion care makes everyone safer,” Young said. “Making sure we can do everything we can do safely before and after conception helps everyone.”

The event also drew a small group of pro-life protesters. Counter-protesters did not disrupt the rally but argued with a local doctor who identified himself as pro-choice. However, they did not wish to speak with WAER. While the doctor told WAER that they did not want to identify themselves publicly at their workplace.

The reproductive rights debate recently increased following a Texas law banning the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. The United States Supreme Court last month rejected an attempt block the entry into force of the law, but later this year will hear arguments regarding Mississippi’s ban, in most cases, on abortions after 15 weeks.

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