The Women’s March organization holds a vigil Roe v. Wade to Seneca Falls | Local News | Auburn, NY | Auburnpub.com

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SENECA FALLS — Shortly after news broke earlier this month about a leaked draft opinion showing the United States Supreme Court appears poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade, the Women March in Seneca Falls organization wanted to take action.

A majority of the court voted to overturn the 1973 ruling, which gave American women a constitutional right to abortion services, according to a February draft opinion, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito,

About half an hour before a protest began in Seneca Falls on Friday night over the leaked decision, Women March organizer Susan Scheuerman was preparing for the event. Planning for the event began about a week ago, and Scheuerman explained why the group decided to hold the rally.

“We didn’t want to hold this event. We were forced to hold this event by the actions of a Supreme Court Justice who has a blueprint that proposes the end of Roe v. Wade,” she said. . “So once you receive this kind of news, no matter how you receive it, we are obligated to respond.”

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Scheuerman said more than 600 marches are planned across the country on Saturday. Friday’s vigil in Seneca Falls is “the launch event for the nation,” she said. The first women’s rights convention was held there in 1848. Scheuerman said the Seneca Falls event was held a day earlier than other protests because it is “the birthplace of women’s rights”.

“We have a responsibility to hold this vigil as the other marches start tomorrow, but this is where it started and this is where it continues,” she said. “We have a responsibility, through our organization, to announce this to the country.”

More than 50 people gathered on Fall Street near the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. There were no speeches, except for members of the Women’s March occasionally addressing the crowd briefly.

People of various ages held signs referring to reproductive rights, chanting slogans such as “Pro-life? That’s a lie. They don’t care if women die.” Some people honked their horns in support as they passed, prompting the crowd to cheer. A passing person on a motorcycle spun it around hard enough that it briefly drowned out the singing. One person shouted an obscenity at the crowd at one point. A man from a nearby building shouted “Just use a condom!” before going inside the building.

One of the people holding up signs was Maggie Dorsey-Nocilly. Dorsey-Nocilly, who said she was from Auburn, said she was raped in 1976 and became pregnant, but had an abortion. For decades, she told few people about it until four years ago.

“If I was attacked and assaulted and someone shot me or hit me, I would heal that wound. I saw the pregnancy as a wound I suffered as a result of a crime,” said Dorsey-Nocilly.

She also expressed anger that some states are charging women with crimes for having miscarriages. In 1981, Dorsey-Nocilly said, a baby she was carrying died, and if the fetus hadn’t aborted, she would have died.

“I thought Roe v. Wade was law set 50 years ago, and being here again 50 years later is like, my God,” she said. “We’ve set the clocks back an hour, but we’ve set our calendar back 100 years.”

Amya McLaughlin and Courtney Hunt were also present at the event with signs saying they wanted to protect their reproductive rights. McLaughlin added that she doesn’t believe abortion opponents are “necessarily against abortion, they’re just misogynistic and against women who have abortions.”

Hunt spoke about his reasons for being at the event.

“I want to protect my reproductive rights. I don’t think it’s right that those rights are taken away from us,” she said, adding that Roe v. Wade had been in place for almost 50 years. “Just having all of that history taken away from us is shocking in the 21st century.”

Managing Editor Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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