Protestors across America have taken to the street in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the landmark case of Roe v. Wade.
While many of the protests have occurred in major metropolises from California to Washington D.C., others have been happening in rural America – like Minerva, Ohio.
“I feel we should speak everywhere we can, and in towns especially like Minerva, it needs to be said a little bit louder than it would in other cities such as Chicago or New York,” Janet Jacobs said.
The Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the ruling has left much of the area split.
Jacobs, a long-time Minerva resident, quickly began planning protests against the action. She said Friday’s ruling didn’t sit well with her.
“I was physically ill. Not that I’m saying that abortion is the solution, but we need to have a safe alternative for women that do need it, and right now, I’m worried about the ‘back-alley’ abortion clinics opening back up,” Jacobs said.
Pro-choice protestors stood outside on the bridge in Minerva by Grinders Above & Beyond Restaurant in the 400 block of East Lincolnway.
Jacobs says she fears that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will pave a path to eliminate gay marriage, contraception access, and other American rights.
“I don’t think people realize how much the Fourteenth Amendment had had into a lot of our other amendments,” she said. “Gay marriage, segregation, interracial marriage, contraceptives…there’s a list that goes on and on…this isn’t just about abortion. I feel that this is the first step in overturning a lot of our constitutional rights.”
Jacobs, who is protesting for safe and legal abortions, said she believes in ‘common-sense’ abortions, but not late-term abortions.
“I believe if the fetus will be viable outside of the womb, then an abortion should not be allowed to happen,” Jacobs said.
Shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned, Ohio filed a motion to dissolve the injunction on the state’s six-week abortion ban – known to many as the ‘Heartbeat Bill.’ The bill was signed into effect later that day.
“This decision returns abortion policy to the place it has always belonged: to the elected policies branches of the governments,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement released.
The bill, which does not include an exception for rape or incest situations, allows for physicians to perform an abortion only if the mother’s life is at risk. The exemption is defined as a “medically diagnosed condition that so complicates the pregnancy of the woman as to directly or indirectly cause the substantial and reversible impairment of a major bodily function.” The other abortion exception is if the fetus has no heartbeat.
Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson called the ruling “horrific.”
“Knowing this moment would come does not make it any less devastating,” McGill Johnson said. “The Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what we do with our bodies, deciding that we can no longer be trusted to determine the course for our own lives.”
Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care in the U.S., including elective abortion care.
Jacobs said she would not have an abortion, but believes that the option should be viable: “Abortion’s not something I could do, but I feel that option needs to be there for women who cannot afford the health care, and a lot of our poorer social class is going to be the one to suffer from this. They won’t be able to go across state lines or get the resources they need like some of the upper class could do in the situation.”
Jacobs also says she is praying for the justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
I pray that no one in their family ever has to experience where they would need an abortion. Whether that be rape, incest, or unwanted pregnancy…I hope no one ever has to face that for them in their life,” she said. “I would hope that they would maybe reconsider what they’re doing to women’s rights, and what a huge step back this is for America because right now, none of us feel like we have the freedom that we should.”