Greater Lafayette residents gather to protest the end of Roe
Residents of Greater Lafayette gathered at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse Friday night to protest the overturning of Roe V. Wade, the US Supreme Court precedent protecting a person's right to an abortion.
Over 100 residents gathered on the steps of the county courthouse to protest the Supreme Court’s decision, taking up chants that included “no uterus, no opinion” and “abort the patriarchy.”
Indiana republican lawmakers are expected to take up some kind of abortion restrictions during a special session set for early July, but it’s not yet clear how far those restrictions will go.
State representative Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) attended the protest and said she’s heard a handful of rumors about what Republicans might do.
“They may go for an all-out ban,” she said. “But I’ve also heard the restrictions may go to 8-10 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. No exceptions except for the life of the mother.”
Campbell said she’ll be finding out precisely what Indiana republicans have planned alongside everyone else in July.
Several protestors underlined how the decision felt like a step backward for the country. Roe was decided nearly 50 years ago in 1973.
Susan Rowe is a local activist who helped organize the protest.
“I also feel, and this is really from my heart, that we let our mothers and our grandmothers down,” she said. “They fought so hard for this and it’s over, it’s gone.
Teresa Sekine attended the protest. She said she has advocated for the right to an abortion all her life.
“I swore when Roe V Wade became the law of the land that we would never go back,” she said. “And here we are.”
One protestor, recent Purdue graduate Maya, came out to the protest because she recently discovered she’s pregnant.
“I am going to be going to graduate to school in fall… and as a graduate student I’m very poor and I’m going to be in school and I’m not with the father,” she said. “It’s not the right time for me in my life. I don’t know if I can personally do this and support a child right now.”
Maya said she began weighing her options and talking with her family. Ultimately, she decided to terminate the pregnancy.
“I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood but even now it’s like two weeks away,” she said. “I want to do this as soon as possible.”
Then, as Maya was trying to make plans around her future, news about Roe broke.
“It’s very scary,” she said. “Either I get it done in the next couple of weeks or I might have to go to Illinois, but wait times might be very long. It’s a very tough situation.”
“Being here today is a very emotional experience,” Maya added.
Many protestors expressed feelings of hopelessness in the wake of the decision.
Alayna Espinoza is a Tippecanoe County resident who came to the protest.
“I feel hopeless, I feel scared, I don’t know what I do,” she said. “If nobody’s voices are being heard other than those who are being elected until the end of their life.”
Additional protests against the Supreme Court’s decision are planned in Lafayette later this week.