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Abortion rights rallies planned in Hyannis and Falmouth following reverse of Roe v. Wade

Hyannis Bans Off Bodies Rally
Image from the "Bans Off Our Bodies" rally in May in Hyannis.

Cape Codders who support abortion rights are reacting with sadness and anger to news that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. The ruling immediately triggered protest plans.

Rallies are planned for the Hyannis Airport Rotary at 1 p.m. and the Falmouth Village Green at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday for pro-choice supporters to band together and look ahead.

“We’re giving today a moment of just organizing our heads,” said community organizer Erin Andrews. “And then tomorrow we’ll be coming together as a community to stand together.”

Andrews said she hopes to create a space where people can express their feelings and ask questions like, “Where can we donate money? How can we organize for our neighbors coming to Massachusetts to receive abortion care? What can we do right now? And what can we do in the long term to reverse this decision?”

In Massachusetts, abortion is protected by state law, but at least 26 states could soon restrict or ban abortion. Within hours of the decision, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, and South Dakota became the first states to announce bans.

More than 36 million people of child-bearing age will be left without access, according to Planned Parenthood.

The loss of “privacy and bodily autonomy” is a “slap in the face,” Andrews said, especially for those who fought for Roe five decades ago. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision that found women in the United States had a fundamental right to choose whether to have abortions without excessive government restriction.

Anti-abortion forces say their focus is on protecting what they call “potential” lives.

“I have immense compassion for people who do not agree with abortion, who don't view it as health care, who see this as the ending of a life. I understand that,” Andrews said. But, especially as a mom, she said, she sees it differently.

“I need there to be compassion for those of us who desperately want women and birthing people to have control over their bodies and whether or not they want to become parents. Because this job is so difficult. It's incredible, but being a parent is a lot of work. You really need to want to do it.”

Hundreds protested throughout the region just last month at “Bans off Our Bodies” rallies when the draft of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked. This time, Andrews said, she wants to see more men show up.

“There are men… who have knowingly or unknowingly had the benefit of not child-rearing because of Roe v. Wade. They need to show up,” she said. “This needs to not be a ‘women’s issue.’ This is a community – a human rights issue.”

Eve Zuckoff covers the environment and human impacts of climate change for CAI.