CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – On January 22, 1973, the U.S Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision holding that the 14th amendment of the Constitution provides a fundamental “right to privacy,” and it protects women’s right to abortion.
Subsequently, this became known as the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Despite much criticism, the Supreme Court upheld Roe for decades following, even reaffirming its viability in the 1992 decision on Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Just a couple of weeks ago, however, the nearly 50-year-old decision was abandoned in a blink of an eye when the high court ruled against it in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. It sparked a splitting uproar of celebration and controversy between the two political parties, each having its own strongly-held beliefs on the issue.
“Women and pregnant people need abortion care, whether it’s any sort of excuse it doesn’t matter, people don’t have to explain their healthcare decisions and that’s what we want people to understand, that abortion is your decision and it’s your choice,” Vice President of West Virginia Now, Leanne Shinkle says.
A rally was held on the steps of the Capitol in Charleston Saturday as advocates of Roe v. Wade gathered to dissent against the new ruling.
The event called We Dissent: A Rally for Abortion Rights was organized by the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia and Planned Parenthood Votes South Atlantic. Along with the main organizers, several other organizations that support women’s rights also participated.
It was met with signs, shouting, protest, and passion over what they feel is an important right that is now being taken away from them.
“If we can’t depend on the Supreme Court and the federal lawmakers to make these decisions, we want our local representatives here in West Virginia to step up and pass bills for West Virginian women and pregnant people so that we can secure abortion rights here in our state specifically,” Shinkle says.
After hearing from several speakers on the steps of the capitol Saturday advocating the right to abortion, they also planned to march around the capitol in spite of the rain.