CLEVELAND (WJW) — Supporters of abortion rights gathered at the Free Stamp in Willard Park in Downtown Cleveland on Saturday, to protest the ruling by the U.S. Supreme court that overturned the landmark 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade.
After leading a chant of “never surrender, abortion forever,” Kellie Copeland of Pro-Choice Ohio told those attending the protest that Friday’s decision is a rallying cry for those who believe in a woman’s right to an abortion.
“We will not go surrender to this tyranny, not today and not tomorrow, we will fight,” said Copeland.
Other supporters of abortion rights noted how quickly on Friday that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took action to immediately make a 2019 “heartbeat bill” that had been blocked by a federal judge, a new law in the state.
The heartbeat law makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions, once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. Those who oppose the new law, plan to make abortion a major issue at the ballot box in the upcoming election.
State Rep. Bishara Addison (D-Shaker Heights) told attendees, “in November, when we have a general election, all of you need to show up, and bring a friend because you’ve got to give us some backup, we need a team.”
Meanwhile, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb tweeted, “we knew this day was coming but it is still a shock. I will use every tool within my power to protect a woman’s right to choose. This fight is not over.”
After protesters chanted, “my body, my choice,” State Rep. Monique Smith (D-Fairview Park) told them, “We do not care what the Supreme Court of the United States says we’re allowed to do, we are going to make sure that we hang onto our freedom forever.”
Meanwhile, those who support the decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade gathered outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Canton on Saturday. Among those marking the historic moment is a woman who had an abortion as a teenager and lived to regret it.
“I never felt such emptiness and despair in my whole life, but what do you do, what do you do when you realize you’ve just killed your own child, so I went into denial and the only thing I can do now is pretend like it never happened,” said Christy Ballor of the “Silent No More Awareness Campaign.”
Ballor eventually dedicated her life to opposing abortion, and she is hoping that the end of the Roe v. Wade era will usher in a new chapter that focuses on helping women who are dealing with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
Ballor told FOX 8, “to hopefully warn women that this is something that you cannot go back from, this is a permanent decision made for a temporary problem and it can’t be reversed.”
Ballor says she believes pregnancy centers that offer counseling and support will now play a greater role.
“We’re offering hope, we’re offering healing, forgiveness,” she said. “We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing all along, helping women in crisis pregnancies, and being there for them no matter what.”