“I was devastated.”
“I was saddened and blown away.”
“I’m pretty disgusted.”
These are the emotions Caitlin Nicholson, Brynne Schultz and Sarah Johnson, respectively, felt Friday when they learned the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade.
That evening, the three of them — along with about a dozen others — gathered at the corner of Eighth and Main streets in Winona to share their thoughts on the Supreme Court decision during a rally.
Attendees held signs sharing their heartbroken reactions with passing cars, and drivers honked in response.
While the country knew the decision was coming due to a leak earlier this year that revealed much of the court’s opinion, Nicholson and Shultz both said they were still shocked when the overturn was formally announced.
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“All of a sudden, we’re going back 50 years,” Nicholson, a local DFL officer, said.
Nicholson stressed that people cannot tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
She also shared her fear of the future with this Supreme Court decision, saying, “This is so important, because every time we take away a right, we threaten more rights.”
“What rights are under attack next?” Nicholson said.
Dave Smith, another rally attendee, expressed a similar worry for other rights in the country, as he said that the overturning of Roe v. Wade sets “a really bad precedent for the future.”
“It’s very alarming, especially as a minority member myself facing possible violence. Stuff like this just encourages that,” Smith, who is transgender, shared.
Smith is worried about suggestions that Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, may be overturned too in the near future.
As a mother, Nicholson said she feels fear for the sake of her children after this Supreme Court decision.
“I am terrified of the world that my kids are going to grow up in with Roe v. Wade not existing,” she said.
While Minnesota still allows abortions, Nicholson fears this may not be the case as soon as next year if Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan do not stay in office.
Both Walz and Flanagan have declared that they will protect abortion rights in the state as long as they are in charge, but they are up for reelection this year.
Johnson shared that she and her coworkers agreed Friday that they do not feel like they have as many rights as guns — inanimate objects — do in the United States, as the Supreme Court continues to issue decisions that allow for the expansion of gun rights across the country.
Johnson said she will continue going to rallies like the one Friday in Winona until she sees progress being made in support of abortion and women rights.
Schultz, who uses the pronoun they, shared a similar thought to Johnson — that they believe the United States favors regulating women’s bodies much more than it favors regulating guns.
Shultz said that leaders who say the Supreme Court’s ruling protects babies, but who do not support putting limitations on guns, do not see that “these children that they’re going to protect or that they say they’re protecting are going to grow up in a world where they have to be afraid of school shooters.”
Schultz also said that these babies will grow up dealing with another hot topic being discussed right now across the nation — hatred and discrimination towards the LGBTQ community.
To learn more about events scheduled in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, like the rally Friday in Winona, visit www.womensmarch.com.