Islanders to rally for Roe v. Wade

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Islanders will gather in front of Edgartown District Court to rally for Roe v. Wade. — Rich Saltzberg

Islanders will be gathering in front of Edgartown District Court at 5 pm Tuesday, May 3, to rally against the reported draft majority opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that shows the court is likely to vote to overturn the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade. The court opinion was first reported by Politico. 

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote in the draft, according to Politico. He continued that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey “have enflamed debate and deepened division.” 

Carla Cooper from Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard told The Times there was a national call to action made by activists to “meet at their local courthouses because this is a judicial decision and it’s symbolic to be at a place where judicial decisions are being made.” 

Roe v. Wade is the 1973 court case that protected women’s access to abortion and the “right to privacy,” particularly during the first trimester, according to the Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Supreme Court decision archive website Oyez. The decision passed with a 7-2 vote at the time. 

The current draft is regarding the court case of Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al. According to Oyez, this case looks at whether Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, which bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks, is unconstitutional. 

“This is the result of decades of right-wing religious extremists infiltrating our political system. This has been their long game with the ultimate goal of overturning the right to safe and legal abortion,” Cooper said. “The ultimate goal is to control women. We’re going to see an attack on birth control. We’re going to see an attack on gay marriage, that’s coming. We’re going to see an attack on interracial marriage. They want to bring us back to the turn of the 20th century. We’re really gearing up for this fight.”

Cooper listed other ongoing efforts to protect abortion access alongside the rally, such as pushing Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and campaigns for Democratic legislators in swing states. Locally, activists are working with state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, and state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, to get a bill together that would provide legal protection to abortion providers who served women from states with anti-abortion legislation. 

“In Massachusetts, there are things we can do for Massachusetts and to protect women coming from out-of-state coming here,” Cooper said. “But, there needs to be federal action on this and the best thing [people] can do is continue to put pressure on Senator [Elizabeth] Warren and Senator [Ed] Markey to push this Women’s Health Protection Act in the Senate and to do whatever they can to put pressure on their colleagues and President [Joe] Biden to make this a priority.”

54 COMMENTS

  1. Cooper said ”the ultimate goal is to control women”. Cooper, there are more women than men in college, increasing levels of CEO’s, 42 percent of small businesses are run by women. Woman VP, senators, congresswomen, Nancy P, Supreme Court Women now 4. Women running households and raising children.400k women lawyers and growing faster than male lawyers. Get a grip Ms. Cooper. 41 percent of Americans want Roe either overturned or want to see more restrictions on abortion rights, while 53 percent want Roe either kept as is or have abortion rights expanded. 66milion babies in heaven are sighing relief. By the way, every normal husband confesses that women are smarter and their wives are the boss.

  2. I’m not against protesting this horrible outcome but what’s the point? This protest will accomplish nothing at all. We need to figure out a better way to affect change than having a protest long after all the cows have left the barn.

    • Alcohol was legal.
      Then it wasn’t.
      Protest and civil disobedience pushed it back into being legal.
      The same with weed.
      Aboration was legal then it wasn’t, then it was and now it might not be.
      The Supreme Court created Roe vs Wade
      The may “abort” it.
      They can create it again
      Just keep on protesting, they listen.

      • We need to do more, much more. Protest isn’t working, I think direct action to shut things down is the only way. Unless the protest costs the other side something it’s pointless IMO.

    • This protest accomplished recruiting more volunteers to donate to Senate candidates in swing states, for phone banking and knocking on doors, for spreading the word on social media and for pressuring our state & federal delegations to work harder to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Judiciary Act. What do you do besides criticize the efforts of others?

      • Carla, I’m not claiming to know the answer but what I am saying is that what we have been doing has led us to where we are today and that is basically what you are suggesting above. It isn’t working! The senate could get rid of the filibuster today and pass a new abortion law but Biden took that off the table yesterday(not that they could get Manchin and Sinema anyhow). The way things have been gerrymandered, add in the voter suppression and there is less than zero shot at getting 60 future votes to protect abortion rights is a pipe dream. As of today Jim Clyburn(# the in dem leadership) is heading to Texas to campaign for Henry Cuellar(the last anti abortion congressperson) against Jessica Cisneros. We need a better approach if we have any hope of reversing this rightward frieght train the US is headed down.

  3. If your statistics are correct, all the more reason that women should have control over their bodies and their health. Also, your percentages of Americans wanting to overturn Roe are questionable. A Post-ABC poll published today states that only 28% of Americans believe it should be overturned. There is a disconnect from reality for those who believe that banning or limiting abortion is going to stop it. It will simply create more bad outcomes. Don’t know how you counted “66 million babies” but that statement shows that you do not believe abortion is an option for you. That is OK with me. But your religious or personal belief about it should not dictate my choice, or any woman’s choice. This entire issue is so beside the point – people who are concerned about the babies should get proactively involved in human services and help those less fortunate than them, instead of trying to punish them.

  4. Men commenting on abortion access is like taking your car into the local bakery for repair.

    If you don’t have the parts don’t comment. We deserve sovereign rights over our bodies. If you don’t want to make someone pregnant abstain or get a vasectomy. Women don’t always have that choice.

    • If the father has no voice in the birth of their child do they have the right to opt out of their financial obligation if the mother decides to birth the child?

      • This thread is a prime example of why we could benefit from a safe space for organized discourse around critical matters that impact us all.

        I look forward to seeing the evolution of creative spaces on island where we can continue these conversations, expanding perspectives to grow ourselves into the unified community we truly desire and deserve.

      • I honestly do not think that this is about denying father’s rights, never has been. In the majority of cases when abortion is painfully considered, it is not for that reason.

    • The government already controls many “sovereign rights” over your body. You’re not allowed to ingest heroin or cocaine or other illegal drugs. You can’t drink a bunch of alcohol and go drive your car or ride a bike. You can’t have a physician assist you in ending your life even if you have a terminal illness. But so far, your good to go to kill a baby.

    • Sorry, but I must disagree. Many men care about the health and bodily autonomy of the women we know. Saying that we cannot comment is like saying that no white people should have had a voice in the civil rights movement of the 60s. In the broader sense, this situation indicates a crack that has been created in the system that could lead to the erosion of rights in other parts of our laws. We are witnessing the result of apathy on the part of so called progressives, and the further intrusion of the religious right in our government. This impending decision can be partly attributed to the self proclaimed “woke” types who were too self righteous to make a pragmatic choice in 2016 and instead chose a third party candidate or just stayed home.
      The loading of the court with people who do not respect the rights of all has no boundaries with regard to gender.

    • Susan– you are so wrong on so many levels.
      I am not black, so I should have no opinion as to how black people are treated ?
      I am not an active military personnel, so I can’t have an opinion about going to war ?
      I am not gay, so I can’t comment on issues concerning their rights ?

      You have some good points, but your statement “If you don’t have the parts don’t comment.” is not helpful. It gives talking points to people like Andy.

      • Thank you Don. You make a very good point. I wrote those words from a place of pain and that’s never a good way to express oneself.

        • Susan– Thank you for acknowledging that your comment wasn’t as well thought out as it could have been. Believe me, I know that feeling.

  5. Democrats, who championed the inability to define “woman” and replaced the term “mother” with “birthing person” in the vernacular, have suddenly rediscovered what a woman is and at least part of what makes them unique — the ability to make another human. Its been just six weeks since a supreme court candidate was unwilling or unable to define ‘’woman’’ but suddenly all the libs know what that word means. They keep telling you this is about women’s rights but they cant tell you what a woman is. Priceless.

    • The candidate for the supreme court was not unwilling to define “women”, she just noted that she does not have the scientific background in biology to answer that question. (And it was a stupid question for her to be asked).
      And just a side note, the same people insisting that women do not have a choice in whether they give birth are the same ones that refuse to support bills that provide funding for childcare, healthcare, financial assistance to low income families, etc. Many times a woman chooses not to have a child because she does not have healthcare or the financial means to support a child. Who is going to make sure these children are supported once they are born?

      • You can’t be serious. She couldn’t define what a woman was yet she was appointed to the Supreme Court!!! Yikes!

      • Ms. Kelly. The Supreme Court candidate could have said ” I know I am a woman, I know my daughter is a woman. I know there are justices who will be my colleagues who are women. I am not a vet but I know what a dog is”
        Your argument that abortions are needed in order to have babies grow up with sufficient health and finances and care, is a red herring. I know grandmothers who dont have that care. Should we dispose of them?

    • Mr. Engelman, please. Your daughter/wife/sister is raped, beaten, and left for dead. She survives but finds herself pregnant as a result of the rape. In several states right now, she would be forced to endure the trauma of carrying (with all that that entails), and delivering that baby. In at least one state, if she tries to abort, the rapist can sue her! Do you have any idea how long 9 months is? Long enough, when your happily carrying a beloved, wanted child; you can deal with the too numerous assaults on the body that occur during a normal pregnancy. To lose 9 months of your life to the hell of carrying an unwanted child-however that may have come about, because of someone else’s judgment is unthinkable and unacceptable.
      In the past 2 years I’ve heard more men complain about mask-wearing with the phrase, “Don’t tell me what to do with my body!” Yeah, right.

    • They must all be be biologists.

      ” Birthing person ” 🤣😂🤣😂😅🤣😂😂🤣
      THAT’S a good one!

      The disconnect from The MOTHER is the root of all the problems on Earth.

    • Andrew, I am interested in what your definition of “woman” is. Would you be willing to share it with this forum? Thanks.

      • David, I’ll take a shot at that.

        Keep in mind that this definition is given from a practical perspective and is not intended to be a biology dissertation.

        Women are those persons who are rightly afraid for their lives, and worse, when men barge into places where women are customarily partially disrobed.

        That’s why we have two sets of restrooms and locker rooms in the first place.

        That’s also all the definition anyone should require, unless you’re trying to make a federal case out of calling the sky green and the grass blue.

    • Andy– your comment is disingenuous at best. Republicans who can’t stand to see a black woman on the supreme court threw ridiculous and irrelevant questions at her.
      When” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was asked by a HuffPost reporter to define “woman,” and replied, “Someone who can give birth to a child, a mother, is a woman. Someone who has a uterus is a woman.Apr 6, 2022″
      So Andy– we have about 50,000 people a year in the U.S who have their uteruses removed. They are not able to give birth. Nor is anyone over the age of about 60.
      Should they be in the men’s room in public restrooms.
      The sign on the door says “women”. According to Hawley, if you don’t have a uterus, or are over the age of 65 for sure , you are not a woman, and you certainly don’t belong in the mens room. But there is a third category of gender identity- it’s called “non binary”. Is that how we should refer to all those people who were formerly women ?
      I, by the way, am a democrat, and have never used the term “birthing person” nor have I ever heard any of my liberal friends or acquaintances use that term.
      Perhaps since you bring up the issue of defining what a woman is, please quit your usual projections about what others’ think, and tell us YOUR definition of what a woman is.
      Yes, Andy– I am asking YOU to chime in with YOUR definition.
      I’m sure your answer will be “priceless.”
      I can’t wait.

    • Andy how do you define a woman.
      I noticed that the person asking the the question had no answer to put forward.

      • Albert— Notice that Andy’s one lame attempt to defend the bigoted senators from their absurd questions was to say what Justice Brown should or could have said. — a typical tactic for him. I wonder if Justice Brown’s daughter had fully transitioned to a man , I wonder what Andy thinks she should have said about that. I also noticed that Andy managed to slip in the phrase “I know what a dog is”.
        I am not a misogynist, but I know subliminal misogyny when I read it.

  6. This is an issue of agency and who makes the decision about whether a woman or a girl is going to be forced to continue a pregnancy she does not want, is not emotionally prepared to handle, or cannot afford. The draft opinion upholds the Mississippi law, which bans abortion after 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. It is beyond cruel to say to females who can get pregnant as young as 10 or 11 that they must complete to birth a pregnancy that has resulted from rape or being impregnated by their father, grandfather, uncle, or the local priest or minister.

    By rejecting the basis of Roe and Casey, the Court has signaled it may be willing to reconsider the decisions prohibiting bans on contraception use by married couples and on interracial marriage marriage, as well as gay marriage.

    So what is it with these 5 Roman Catholics (Alito, Thomas, Barrett, Roberts, and Kavanaugh) and their view that the Constitution doesn’t protect our right to privacy in the most intimate aspects of our lives, and that it doesn’t evolve to meet the demands of modern life? And if there is no privacy interest worth protecting in these areas, what becomes of the privacy interest that protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

  7. Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned on the grounds that the Constitution is silent about abortion, can we expect other decisions to be overturned by the same reasoning? Obergefell v. Hodges, Loving v. Virginia, Brown v. Board of Education? Will same sex marriages, interracial marriages, school integration now become subject to the whims of raciest, homophobic state legislatures and governors? I’m sure the Jim Crow states (and others) are salivating at the thought.
    If we are a nation where four men (two of them in their 70’s) and a woman (who should know better) can endanger the lives of millions of women; if by a single vote majority, women in this country can be forced to have children brought on by rape or incest, we are no longer a nation with liberty and justice for all. It’s time to scrap the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s time to admit we are becoming, not a “shining city upon a hill” but a dystopian darkness. I don’t expect I’ll be around to see the worst that this country will become. And I hope I’m wrong. But if it comes to pass, the only satisfaction will be that the morons who elected Donald Trump will suffer along will everyone else.

    • Thanks, Ted. It is worth noting that the current Supreme Court makeup, which Mitch McConnell cobbled together, does not reflect the majority opinion of the citizens. The question is, what will the majority, who support a woman’s sovereignty over her own health, do about reversing this new decision, originally decided by a 7-2 vote in ’73.

    • Ted calm down. If Roe is overturned it won’t ban abortions, it will simply turn the decision back to the States. As for “” dystopian darkness”” we are already there.

  8. Please, everyone focus on our rights: all of our rights. This is not just about abortion. It is 50 years in the making with Republicans taking away our rights and cashing the checks to their own benefit.
    Sen. Warren stated the fact that the women who will suffer the most are “poor women, who cannot fly to another state and get their choice of healthcare.” And, we are still one of the few developed countries without universal healthcare.
    This bogus claim using a tainted interpretation of the Constitution is just plain wrong-headed.
    This is not what the home of the brave and the free is all about. It is about a bunch of guys fearful of losing power to someone who is not White, Wealthy and Male. And, guess what, guys: you are no longer the majority. The majority is Black, Brown, Gay, Female, Trans, AND, we’re shareholders, voters, educators, parents and donors who will not be silenced by anyone – not with our voice or our vote or our pocketbooks. We will welcome you to the 21st century –

    • What stupidity. I shouldn’t have expected anything different. THE RACIST DEMOCRATS MOVED TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE 60S/70S. WHY IS THE ENTIRE SOUTH NOW REPUBLICAN? BECAUSE THEY COULDN’T STAND THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT that the Democrats championed.

  9. Still people are too busy shrieking over their sacred cow to see the judicial point:

    It should never have been done through the judiciary in the first place. It was *WRONG* that the judiciary did it, no matter how right the actual meat of the decision might be.

    It always was a legislative matter, that always was for the legislators to fix, but they all seem to have had better things to do than their jobs at least as far back as 1973.

    Civics is hard. It’s often harder than the issues themselves. If governance was easy, antiquity would have known all about it, and Rome would never have fallen.

  10. I agree with Don, Dana Nunes and Libby.

    After reading through all these entries, I suspect that some of the “men” who are responding enjoy being negative just to raise everyone’s hackles!

  11. Poll results from NBC news today have a mere 54% supporting abortion rights; far from the overwhelming majority some have claimed. I would like to see that breakdown because I sense the male vote will be needed to re-establish these rights and that there is more support than you realize. We may not be as moved by the outrage but we still understand what is wrong with this. The exception might be a big bunch of white, male politicians (republicans that is) Unless Congress steps up here, we will be on our way to a country with sharp divisions from state to state.

  12. David– Your statistic from the NBC poll is wildly misleading–
    I read the poll results.
    54 % said legal all or most of the time–
    Even among abortion rights proponents, most are not in favor of “partial birth” abortions.

    31% said it should ALWAYS be legal .
    8% said it should ALWAYS be illegal.

    The rest are in the middle.

    So let me rephrase that for you–
    92% think it should be legal in all or some cases .

    That from the poll you mentioned :

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/570381-54-percent-in-new-poll-say-abortion-should-be-legal-in-all-or-most-cases/

    Sometimes you have to read more than the headline.

    • Correct, I trusted the headline and looking at the poll, I don’t see where you are coming up with 92% unless you are including subsets that only approve in the most extreme situations which is in effect a prohibition anyhow.

  13. David– I am coming up with the numbers from the poll that you cited and the “mere” majority of only 54% that support abortion rights all or most of the time.
    We don’t know exactly what “most of the time” means, but one could surmise that means at least to the third trimester. (24 weeks).
    Doing some simple math , 36% think it should be legal in either the third trimester or for medical or reasons concerning the fetus, such as rape or abnormalities with the development of the fetus. That’s the subsets you speak of.
    But we can speculate all day about the grey areas. What if the father dies during week 26 ?
    What if the mother doesn’t know she’s pregnant until week 28 ? What developmental problems constitute a third trimester abortion ? All sorts of scenarios.
    The point is that only a “paltry” 8% think it should be illegal all the time.
    You have to be careful with what you cherry pick out of a poll.

  14. Alito was correct. The arguments in favor of Roe v. Wade were weak from the start. Here was a mockery of reasoning stating a “right to privacy” is inherent in the language of the Constitution. Law students at the time were shocked and appalled at the reasoning about the ruling. If Roe is struck down, the abortion issue will go back to the states. By the way, regarding abortion: what are we aborting, exactly? Oh, nothing, just the life of a newborn.

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