‘Freedom for all’ protesters take a stand on Independence Day
ROANOKE, Va. – On Monday, several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the Poff Federal Building to protest the overthrow of Roe v. Wade in downtown Roanoke.
Protesters said they chose to gather on Independence Day because they felt their rights were being taken away from them.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade just over a week ago, we saw protests across the country – and Independence Day was no exception.
“It’s a violation of our rights. And I feel like if women don’t have rights then no one has rights,” said protester Elizabeth Stoots.
For Stoots, the Supreme Court’s decision hit hard. She protested not only for herself but also for her daughter.
“I had to abort in the past because of a miscarriage,” Stoots said. “It’s important to me and my daughter too.”
Protester Niccole Conner never thought Roe v. Wade would be overturned, but now she worries about future decisions the Supreme Court may make.
“Roe is just the beginning. there’s too much they’ve shown us now that they have the ability and the desire to change who our human rights are,” Conner said.
Conner painted a boot print on his chest to symbolize a quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“‘We just want them to take their boots off our necks,’ and that’s true,” Conner said. “They held us back for a long time and that was even more the tipping point.”
Connor also painted a handprint over her mouth, which she says symbolizes her decision to no longer be silent.
“We have to be honest and we have to do it hard. We need to stop letting them calmly see us as the weaker sex and the weaker part of this country,” Conner said.
Protesters said the idea to protest came to them when they realized the Fourth was meant to be a day to celebrate freedom, and they didn’t feel free at all.
“We can’t celebrate freedom when they just took away our freedoms,” Conner said.
“Abortion is a healthcare system,” Stoots said. “It is the norm for women to be able to receive health care whenever they need it. And whatever the reason, they should have access to it.
The protesters also encouraged people to get out and vote in the upcoming elections, while registering them to do so, to bring about change.
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