ROANOKE, Va. – On Monday, several hundred protesters gathered outside of the Poff Federal Building to protest the overturn of Roe v. Wade in Downtown Roanoke.
The protesters said they chose to gather on Independence Day because they felt that their rights are being taken away.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade just over a week ago, we have seen protests across the nation - and Independence Day is no exception.
“This is a trample on our rights. And I feel like if women don’t have rights, then nobody is having rights,” protester Elizabeth Stoots said.
For Stoots, the Supreme Court ruling hit close to home. She protested not only for herself but for her daughter too.
“I’ve had to have an abortion in the past due to having a miscarriage,” Stoots said. “It’s important to me and my daughter as well.”
Protester Niccole Conner never thought that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, but now she worries about future decisions the Supreme Court could make.
“Roe is just the start. there are too many things that they’ve now shown us that they have the ability and the want to change that are our human rights,” Conner said.
Conner painted a boot print on her chest to symbolize a quote from late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“‘We just want them to take their boots off our necks,’ and it’s true,” Conner said. “They’ve been holding us down for a long time and this was just even more so the tipping point.”
Connor also painted a handprint over her mouth, which she said symbolized her decision to no longer be silent.
“We need to be honest, and we need to do it loudly. We need to stop letting them calmly see us as the weaker sex and the weaker portion of this country,” Conner said.
The protesters said the idea to protest came about when they realized the Fourth is supposed to be a day to celebrate freedom, and they didn’t feel free at all.
“We can’t celebrate freedom when they’ve just gone to take our freedoms away,” Conner said.
“Abortion is healthcare,” Stoots said. “It’s standard for women to be able to receive healthcare whenever they need it. And regardless of the reason, they should have access to that.”
The protesters also encouraged people to get out and vote in the next election, while registering them to do so, in order to make a change.