KENOSHA – Students at Bradford High School staged a walkout at 10 a.m. on Thursday to protest the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court. Hundreds of students, many armed with signs, walked along Washington Road and 39th Avenue chanting in protest of the opinion draft that was leaked on May 2.
Ariana Ervin was one of the organizers of the event. “The goal is to have a successful and peaceful event,” Ervin told the Racine County Eye. “This is an important conversation that needs to be addressed among our youth. Not only do we want to walk out to support, but also to educate, inform, and share our experiences.”
Thursday’s walkout at Bradford was part of a national student effort to address and protest the emerging threat to reproductive rights, which was organized primarily on social media. Students were standing in solidarity against Justice Alito’s initial majority draft, in which he wrote, “We hold that Roe and (Planned Parenthood v.) Casey must be overruled.”
Bradford students speak up
Participants of the walkout joined for various reasons, but almost all of them were there to support Roe v. Wade and believed in the importance of the right to choose.
“I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to participate at first,” said senior Ella McGovern. “But then the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to be a part of making a statement. I want to show that I support all women with whatever they choose! It was so powerful to walk out and see all the support. My reproductive rights are important to me and that I have the option. That’s the whole point of pro-choice.”
Many Bradford students were proud to be in the walkout, as they knew it was part of an ongoing global movement for change.
“Despite what others may say, the entire protest was impactful,” junior Ja’Nya Parks said. “The first step towards change is awareness, and in my eyes, my peers and I definitely brought awareness towards the situation. Participating in the walkout was extremely monumental for me, as was it for students all across the country and every woman who has the civil liberty of bodily autonomy.”
Junior Maya Weber criticized the Supreme Court, stating that they shouldn’t regulate abortion if they don’t even understand it.
Reading the signs
Below are a portion of the signs Bradford students carried during the walkout.
“If the fetus you save is gay, will you
continue to protect its rights?”
“A child shouldn’t be a punishment!”
“Mi falda no es muy corta, tu educacion si.” (My skirt is not too short, your education is.)
“Fellas! Shut up and listen!”
“Abort the Court”
“My mind, my body, my freedom!”
“Pro-choice does NOT mean pro-abortion. Pro-choice means that no matter your personal feelings or beliefs about abortion are, you understand it is not your place to make a medical decision for another woman about what she can and can’t do with HER BODY.”
“Sugar, spice & reproductive rights”
“You’re not banning abortion,
you’re banning SAFE abortion!”
“I am a woman, not a womb”
“Keep your bans off our bodies”
“WE FIGHT BECAUSE…
- Impoverished individuals cannot pay for children or medical bills needed for having a baby.
- Men still have all their reproductive rights.
- Banning abortions disproportionately affects minorities.
- Children in the foster system are commonly neglected, trafficked and exploited as they are less protected
- Sexual, emotional, mental and physical abuse victims will feel obligated to let their abusers into their life.”
Pro-choice and anti-abortion movements across the US have become emboldened by the leaked Supreme Court majority opinion draft. Bradford’s walkout was one of many protests that have occurred since POLITICO released the draft. Oklahoma is one state of many to swiftly begin passing anti-abortion bills, with the most recent – and strictest – bill being passed on the same day as the walkout, according to NBC News.
Abortion is still federally protected as of now. “The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months,” according to POLITICO.