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On Tuesday, May 5, the Democratic Party of La Crosse held a protest to support the protection of women’s reproductive rights. The protest was planned after a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion stating that “the Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.”

According to the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity (CORE), “This summer, the US Supreme Court will decide whether a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks’ gestation is legal.” The case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health will decide whether women’s rights remain protected in the state of Wisconsin and around the United States. Though the case focuses on a 15-week ban in Mississippi, the decision could overturn Roe v. Wade.

According to the SCOTUS leaked initial draft, Supreme Court justice Alito wrote, the “Beet [decision was an] abuse of judicial authority. Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. ” Justice Alito went on to say, “[The decision in Roe was] far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enforced debate and deepened division. ”

According to the leaked draft, one of the primary reasons Justice Alito and the majority of the justices believe that Roe and Casey should be overturned is because Roe and Casey each struck a particular balance between the interests of a woman who wants an abortion and the interests of what they termed “potential life.”

Justice Alito believes that it should be up to individuals in each state rather than up to federal regulation. Justice Alito said, “The people of the various states may evaluate those interests differently. In some states, voters may believe that the abortion right should be even more extensive than the right that Roe and Casey recognized. Voters in other states may wish to impose tight restrictions based on their belief that abortion destroys an “unborn human being.”

According to the CORE, “If Roe is officially overturned by the Court, abortion services in Wisconsin will almost certainly be unavailable. Research suggests that the denial of desired abortion services will have serious repercussions for the lives, families, and communities of Wisconsinites forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. ”

The Chair of the Democratic party of La Crosse William Garcia began the protest by saying, “The repeal of Roe v. Wade is not about protecting children; it is about controlling the bodies of women. ” During the protest, there were various representatives including State Senator Brad Path and Democratic Representative Candidate Deb McGrath.

Two students, Pat and Susanna, spoke about the protest, and Pat said she came out to the protest “because [she is] a woman and [she believes] in women’s rights. ” “I’m 77 years old, and I’ve experienced enough misogyny in my life, and this is going the wrong way,” said Pat.

Susanna discussed why she attended the protest, saying, “I am here because I have a child who’s twelve, who said, ‘Mom there’s a protest today and I want to go.’ and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ ”Susanna also said,“ I needed to have an abortion and it was my decision and I’m at peace with it, but it’s part of my experience that I chose to have because I was given that right to do that. ”

“Everybody’s that here wants the rights to their bodies, and not only that it affects more than just women’s autonomy it affects the right to privacy and every law that protects us. It’s frustrating to me that we’re in that place and that we even have to be here, ”said Susanna.

For more information on reproductive rights in Wisconsin, visit Wisconsin’s Center for Reproductive Rightsthis report on the status of Wisconsin’s reproductive rights, or Planned Parenthood.

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