“People are stepping up and they’re stepping out and they’re showing out to show that they’re not gonna stand for this, that abortion is a fundamental right for a woman,” LGBTQ Center of Bay County President Michele Smallwood said. “It is a healthcare decision, and we should be able to make those decisions on our own.”
Protestors said the march was part of defending democracy.
“As a middle-aged person, I did not realize I’d be doing this again at this particular point in my life,” League of Women Voters of Bay County President Shelley Clark said. “But every era of democracy has required people to not just take to the streets, but also to litigate, to vote, to use every means of political activation to find candidates that we can support and to campaign for them and all of those things are really important for us to defend democracy.”
As an attorney, Smallwood said she feels the Supreme Court’s decision could eventually affect other cases.
“The language that has been put into overturning Roe v. Wade right now is so broad that it’s going to affect, and it’s going to have a sweeping effect on other rights that are out there,” she said. “Whether that’s contraception, whether that’s interracial marriages, whether that’s gay marriage, whatever it may be.”
Clark said this November’s elections are important to help practice democracy and empower voters.
“These are very important midterms, and so people need to understand what’s at stake and get to know the candidates and what they stand for and see how we can make some progress,” she said. “Because what we’re seeing lately does not represent what we consider to be progress and the best interest of the majority of our citizens in America.”