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Protestors rally in Billings after overturn of Roe v. Wade

Pro-choice rally.jpg
Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 10:17:29-04

About 100 protestors gathered in the rain near the Yellowstone County courthouse Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe vs. Wade and stripping federal protections for abortion rights.

In Montana, people on each side of the issue did not expect much of a change in the short term.

The Supreme Court gave the abortion issue over to the states in its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson.

"Our main concern is right now our Montana State Constitution does protect us in terms of abortion and protects privacy and bodily autonomy," said Jenna Martin, pro-choice supporter. "But right now, Republicans are two seats away from a super majority in the legislature."

Martin is a Democrat candidate for the Montana Legislature and says the ruling will affect more than abortion.

"This is a stepping stone to LGBTQ attacks on their rights," Martin said. "It's a stepping stone to interracial marriage to adoption rights. This is a stepping stone to everything. So it's a really big deal what's happening right now."

"As a trans person, I can't legally change my name, or my gender," said Roman Taylor, a pro-choice supporter. "They were talking about taking away the rights for same-sex marriage, same-sex relationship."

"While the decision that came in at Supreme Court today wasn't particularly surprising, I think it's absolutely devastating for access to abortion in our country," said Martha Fuller, Planned Parenthood Of Montana CEO.

Fuller said abortion remains legal in Montana and expects Planned Parenthood to operate the same as it has.

"Our doors are open and we've done everything that we can," Fuller said. "And we'll continue to do everything we can to increase access not just to abortion but to all of our services."

The pro-life side says the decision is just the beginning.

"I wasn't sure I would ever see the undoing of Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton in my lifetime," said Amy Seymour, president of Yellowstone Valley Christians For Life.

She said in the short term, nothing changes and her message remains the same.

"Preborn babies are human beings," Seymour said. "They're human from day one. Their DNA is there at the fertilization of the egg."

Jeff Laszloffy president at the Montana Family Foundation said in a news release: "This decision does not outlaw abortion. It simply returns the issue to the states to decide on a state by state basis. Here in Montana, our work is just beginning."

"Honestly, I didn't know that I would see that in my lifetime," Seymour said. "But I'm very pleased that this is just the first step. You know we have our work to do if we want to protect babies in the womb through all nine months of pregnancy."