When a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion leaked in early May showing the nation’s highest court was set to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, effectively ending the federal Constitutional right to an abortion after nearly 50 years, organizers across the nation quickly responded.
The next day in Riverhead, demonstrators rallied in Riverhead at the State Supreme Court building located on Court Street.
On Wednesday evening, many of those demonstrators will return once again, five days after the still shocking decision became reality with the announcement that the Supreme Court have overturned Roe v. Wade.
The Rally for Reproductive Freedom will begin at 5:30 p.m. and was organized by the Democratic committees of the five East End towns. It had originally been scheduled for Monday, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Mike Roth, the chair of the Riverhead Democratic Committee, said although he will be unable to attend since he’ll be out of town, he was happy to help organize the event.
“I feel that this is important to New Yorkers to elect people like Bridget Fleming to Congress so all Americans can share the same rights as New Yorkers currently have,” he said.
Gordon Herr, chair of Southampton Democratic Committee, said it’s important to act fast when situations like this arise.
“It’s really important that we take action and do it quickly,” he said.
Sandra Bendetto, vice chair of communications of Southold Town Democratic Committee, views their participation in this event as a continuation of the work the Democratic committees are doing in their communities.
In Greenport Friday, on the day the decision came down, about 50 demonstrators gathered at Mitchell Park, part of the nationwide protests through the organization Women’s March.
The decision to reverse the landmark 1973 case means states can decide whether abortion can be legal. Abortion care remains legal in New York and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the governor’s office and the New York State Department of Health will launch a multi-platform education campaign to ensure residents know that women can still seek care safely if they choose.
“The Supreme Court has dealt a crushing blow to all who value the ability to make decisions about their own bodies,” Ms. Hochul said in a statement. “Let me be clear: the Supreme Court has failed us, but New York State will not.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone issued a statement Friday saying the Supreme Court’s decision “effectively strips away a fundamental right for millions of women across the country.”
“Overturning Roe v. Wade not only sets our country back 50 years but also puts the health and safety of countless woman at risk,” he said. “As the father of two daughters, I am grateful that here in New York, I know that we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that women’s rights are protected always.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who is vying in Tuesday’s primary against three other candidates to win the GOP nomination for governor, called the decision a “victory for life, for family, for the Constitution and for federalism.”
“In a state that has legalized late term partial birth abortion and non-doctors performing abortion, in a state that refuses to advance informed consent and parental consent, and where not enough is being done to promote adoption and support mothers, today is yet another reminder that New York clearly needs to do a much better job to promote, respect and defend life,” the congressman said.