Roe v. Wade overturned: Hundreds protest in Cincinnati

People in downtown Cincinnati protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Fri., June 24, 2022. Jake Ryle/WCPO

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People in downtown Cincinnati protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Fri., June 24, 2022. Jake Ryle/WCPO

CINCINNATI — People across the country participated in demonstrations Friday following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed the right to an abortion.

Those in favor of the decision call the ruling a major win for human rights, but abortion rights supporters say otherwise.

“This is unacceptable,” Jenny Ustick said. “This is inhuman.”

Ustick is one of many who gathered in downtown Cincinnati after the decision was made. The crowd wanted to make sure their voices were heard, marching to both the county and federal courthouses while chanting phrases like, “My body, my choice” and “Stand up, fight back.”

“There are people who don’t care for conditions like mine, that had when I was 19,” Ustick said. “They would’ve gladly seen me die before giving abortion care.”

Ustick said legal abortion saved her life years ago when she was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant.

“If I didn’t take chemo, I would’ve died in a month,” Ustick said. “If I had taken chemo and not aborted the fetus, I could’ve miscarried in a way that would’ve killed me. There was no viability for that pregnancy.”

On the other side of the debate, abortion rights opponents are praising the high court’s conservative majority on its decision.

“We know that we still have a lot of work to do,” said Laura Strietmann with Cincinnati Right to Life. “I think the thing that we all agree on is that we want to help women, but people in the pro-life movement know for a fact that killing an unborn child never helps anyone.”

The ruling means state leaders can make up their own minds about how to move forward. Now, supporters and opponents are relying on the ballots to help their case.

“All of the people who say I’m not political and I don’t vote, that’s not an option anymore if you care about your rights,” Ustick said. “Get to the ballot box.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order Friday night permitting the state’s department of health to immediately adopt the state’s six-week abortion ban, referred to as the “heartbeat bill” by conservatives. Abortion rights supporters in Cincinnati continued to demonstrate into the late night.

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