Protests ensue as Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade


Seniors Quinn Clow, Ella Girtsman, Kristina Efner, Audrey Flynn, and Clare Duganne (left to right) who all go to different schools within Ventura County. Photo by: Rachel Gonzalez

Greta Pankratz and Sophia Nacu

A leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling could mean the end of the 1973 Roe v. Wade protection of abortion rights

The afternoon of May 3, 2022 had the front of the Ventura County Government Center crowded with protestors. They gathered in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling that revealed a potential change to the legality of abortions. 

The draft majority opinion was written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Alito said, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.” Roe refers to the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision to allow women the right of an abortion through the first trimester of pregnancy. Casey refers to the 1992 Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey case that reaffirmed the abortion rights of Roe v. Wade.

Protesters seen at the Government Center protesting in regards to the leaked Roe v. Wade case possibility of being appealed. Photo by: Rachel Gonzalez

Just hours before people gathered at the front of the Ventura County Government Center, Justice For All of Ventura County started to spread the word.

President of the organization, Shane Meserve, said, “We already have some infrastructure in place– Justice For All, Ventura County has been putting on the Women’s March since 2017– so we have a really large mailing list. We basically kind of just posted on social media that we were gonna be out here today. We sent an email out to our email base and then we also have a really close partnership with Indivisible Ventura as well, who also has a database of their own. Between the two organizations, we just put it out there like five hours ago or something.”

Meserve was accompanied by vice president Sandy Diaz and secretary Miriam Mack, both of Justice For All.

When asked what she thought would happen if Roe v. Wade is repealed, freshman Isabel Connell said, “To be honest, I don’t think abortions are ever really going to go away, if it’s repealed then the option to have ‘safe’ abortions will just no longer be an option.” Photo by: Rachel Gonzalez

Mack said, “We are stunned that the Supreme Court is prepared to reverse 50 years of women’s ability to decide their own reproductive future. The leak of this draft opinion has mobilized all of us. We have to let the country know that we won’t stand for it– that it must be reversed and it just cannot be. It just cannot be.”

Diaz said, “It seems like we’ve been doing this for the last 40-50 years, so you know, it’s repeating itself. It’s insane.”

They expressed gratitude to the young people involved. Meserve said, “Thank you for being here. Thank you for elevating this message. It’s really important that young people get, you know, involved with these kinds of issues because you’re gonna be here 50 years from now if we don’t take care of this.”

In a message to VHS students, as well as all young people, Meserve said, “Get active in politics– whatever your interest level is. I would say get registered to vote as soon as you possibly can and make sure you vote because that is one of our biggest ways of making a difference in where we live and ensuring that our elected representatives do what we want them to do.”

Seniors Jayla Ramirez and Jesus Salcedo (left to right) were in support of “Choice is Law” at the protest on May 3. Photo by: Rachel Gonzalez

Mack said: “Engage with people. Engage with people who may not hold your opinions and see where there is some movement towards understanding. Read the paper, listen to media and think for yourself. Don’t take things right off the internet– right off of facebook– that can’t be verified. Look. Study. It’s your future and we’re scared for you. We really are.”

For Ventura locals, Diaz said, “Get to know your elected officials. Get to know Carmen Ramirez. She is wonderful. She wants young people as well engaged.”

Regarding herself, Diaz and the rest of Justice For All of Ventura County, Mack said, “We’re going to be at Juneteenth in Oxnard and we need volunteers. We need volunteers to register voters. We’re gonna be at the Ventura Street Fair. We need volunteers to register voters, and that’s a really good way to see what our society is like and what needs to be fixed. We encourage you guys to come out and contact us on our email or contact us on social media.” Their facebook is @justiceforallvenura.

Protestors in agreement with the repealing of the Roe v. Wade case were also seen at the protest. Photo by: Rachel Gonzalez

California likely would not be affected by this change. According to the Guttmacher Institute, California, and at least 15 other states, have laws that would keep abortion legal.

In a tweet posted on May 2, California governor Gavin Newsom said, “We are proposing an amendment to enshrine the right to choose in the California constitution. We can’t trust SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) to protect the right to abortion, so we’ll do it ourselves. Women will remain protected here.”

Protestors from all over the country differing in backgrounds, sexualities and ethnicities came together for the protest. Photo by: Rachel Gonzalez

Students from VHS and all around the county attended the protest with hope that their concerns would be heard. Junior Reid Kemble said, “Well I don’t have a uterus and I don’t really think what I say should be taken into account, but I believe that people should be able to regulate and control the choices and decisions made regarding their own bodies.” 

Senior Zoe Sinclair said, “Why do people who don’t know us get to control what we can and can’t do with our bodies and our lives at all?” 

Do the circumstances matter in regards abortions? Senior Ella Girtsman said, “Not necessarily, everyone’s body is their own and the circumstances don’t matter, if someone wants to get an abortion [no matter what happened before that] they should be able to, no questions asked.”