Protestors in Frederick rally for abortion rights | Politics & government

Hundreds of protestors descended upon downtown Frederick Saturday to rally in support of abortion rights.

The demonstration on the square corner of Patrick and Market Streets was one of hundreds of “Bans off our Bodies” events held across the US Saturday, the Associated Press reported. This came after a leaked US Supreme Court draft opinion indicated access to abortion could soon change.

The draft opinion, publicized earlier this month by Politico, suggested the court is prepared to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion in the US, the Associated Press reported. The draft opinion states there is no constitutional right to abortion services. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, individual states could more heavily regulate or ban abortion.

Locals opposed to the content of the draft opinion made their voices heard on Saturday.

Pro-Choice Rally

Pro-choice activists gathered in downtown Frederick for the Bans Off Our Bodies rally on Saturday.

Frederick resident Bonnie Deblois, 70, held a polkadot sign that read, “My arms are tired from holding this sign since the 1960’s.”

She was 18 when she attended her first protest in support of abortion rights, and now she is raising her arms again.

Deblois was joined by her daughter, Melissa Wells, 50, and granddaughter Kate Wells, 19, at the Frederick demonstration. Each brought a homemade sign.

“She’s 50,” Deblois said, gesturing to Melissa. “I can’t believe she’s out here protesting the same thing.”

Deblois gave birth to her daughter at 19 years old. Had it not been for family support, Deblois said they would have been on the street. Deblois said she understands not everyone has that support system, so people should be able to choose whether they carry a child.

Protesting to protect the same rights her grandmother fought for decades ago angered Kate. The teen said she wants to make decisions about her body.

“I want to know she has a right to her body,” Kate’s mother Kate Melissa Wells said.

During the demonstration, some passing vehicles honked in support, drawing cheers from the group. American flags waved in the breeze. Chants of, “We will vote,” filled the air.

Pro-Choice Rally

Pro-choice activists gathered in downtown Frederick for the Bans Off Our Bodies rally on Saturday.

Ciah Kornegay and Lex Washington, both 23 and of Frederick, came out in support of choice.

“I’m fighting for women’s rights,” Kornegay said, “For the right to privacy, the right to do what we want to our bodies without government interfering.”

The Supreme Court leak hit Washington hard.

“It just feels overwhelming,” Washington said, “definitely suffocating.”

Frederick resident James Zazanis, 33, held a sign that read, “This guy stands for choice.”

Zazanis said he felt inspired by the women who raised him and participated in activism. Zazanis has loved ones who benefited from abortion, he said, who otherwise would have been impacted medically.

“Not only do I want to support my community … I want to support my partner’s right to choice,” he said.

Across the square, Frederick resident Danielle Rothman, 41, held perhaps the youngest attendee.

One-month-old Ayla snoozed in a wrap tied to her mother’s chest. Two-year-old Sylvie napped in a stroller.

“It was my choice to have children, but it should be anybody’s choice,” Rothman said.

She does not believe there are proper resources in place to support pregnant people.

Rothman’s sign read, “‘Pro-life’ should mean pro: affordable housing, social justice, free childcare, healthcare, not ‘pro-forced childbirth.'”

Her mother Paula Rothman, 69, stood beside her family, also in support of choice.

“I protested in the 70s … I never thought we would have to do it again,” Paula Rothman said. “I’m thinking of my daughter. I’m thinking of my granddaughters.”

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller


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