‘It’s your choice, that’s the point’

Supreme Court decisions spur a Bans Off Our Bodies protest at Five Corners.


One day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Mississippi abortion ban and overturned Roe v. Wade, a half-century-old ruling, about 50 people gathered at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven to protest the rulings — much like they did in May, when a draft of the decision was leaked.

This protest was spearheaded by Graysen Kirk Linn, a rising senior at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. Kirk Linn is also credited with having organized several protests at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. When asked about why she was inspired to organize this Bans Off Our Bodies protest following the SCOTUS decision, Graysen said, “I could just think about how angry I was, but thinking back to the anger I had during the BLM movement, I remembered how good it felt to come together at that protest and unite.” 

Similar protests were held across the country Saturday, including a massive gathering in Boston. Abortion remains legal and available in Massachusetts, and on Friday Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order that bars Massachusetts from cooperating with extradition attempts from other states that may pursue criminal charges in connection with receiving or performing reproductive health services that are legal here, the State House News Service reported.

Baker’s order also protects Massachusetts reproductive healthcare providers from losing their licenses or receiving other professional discipline because of out-of-state charges, and prohibits agencies under the state’s executive department from assisting another state’s investigation into a person or entity for receiving or delivering reproductive health services in Massachusetts, SHNS reported. “The commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” the Republican governor was quoted as saying. “This executive order will further preserve that right, and protect reproductive healthcare providers who serve out-of-state residents.”

During Saturday’s gathering at Five Corners, upwards of 50 community members joined together with signs and different chants. Kirk Linn’s help in the organization of the event seemed to bring in a good portion of younger women and young adults to the crowd, as she was able to encourage many of her friends to come to the event. Alongside the younger crowd, a good amount of the crowd was made up of middle-aged women, many of whom remember when Roe v. Wade went into effect. One of these women, Joy Robinson-Lynch, spoke about her previous involvement in reproductive care, and why she thinks the protest is necessary. “My first job was at a Planned Parenthood, and I started working there the week Roe v. Wade was decided … I’m standing here to get the attention of national leaders that should be working for us,” she said.

While there were many women of varying ages, there was a lack of male presence. The protesters spoke to this in their chants, saying, “We need the men too,” and urged all people passing by to join.

One strong male presence was Kirk Linn’s father, Jerimiah Miller, who when asked about his thoughts on the protest, spoke to the multidimensional roles women have in all aspects of everyone’s lives, whether it be the working class, mothers, teachers, or nurses, and so on. Miller also demonstrated his views on choice in his chants, saying, “It’s your choice, that’s the point,” when cars were unresponsive to the protesters and did not join in on the honking from passing cars. 

Because of the location of the protest, Five Corners, there was a lot of attention gained from pedestrians, cyclists, and cars passing by, which allowed for a larger amount of witnesses to the political activism.

“Five Corners has always been a communal place to protest,” Graysen said. “It is a backbone for the Island’s social justice spirit.” This spirit was present in chants frequently heard among the crowd, that followed along with the narrative of “Get your laws off my body,” “Healthcare shouldn’t be illegal,” “Pro-choice doesn’t discriminate,” and “No justice, no peace.” 


    • Men must stop having unprotected and viagra encouraged sex, or any sex at all w/ women, before they ever should speak even a tiny word about “unborn babies”….. women are the only ones who can decide whether and when to carry a baby yo term. What is this, Handmaid’s Tale?!

      • Even Roe v Wade held that the state has a legitimate interest in preserving a potential human life, inside the womb. In fact, Roe held that during the final stage of pregnancy a state’s interest in protecting prenatal life becomes so compelling that that the state could legally prohibit all abortions except where absolutuly necessary such as to protect the mother’s life.

        • Mr Smith you are being silly. A woman can always choose not to have sex with a man condom or not. A Godly woman will save herself until marriage as will a man. If she does not, that is when the problems begin.

          • Engelman. This is the textbook definition of misogyny. “Godly” men and women (and boys and girls, I suppose) save themselves for sex? Even if they’re female, raped, and impregnated. On Uranus, maybe. According to you.
            BUT, when the (un)godly woman does not “save” herself, THAT is where the trouble begins, (hello manly men), according to misogyny 101. “If SHE does not, that is where the problems begin.” Little slip in that revealing statement?

            Eve started it all. Misogynistic males who hate women blame women for evil in the world, moving far away from their phony concerns of “innocent” life. Life is innocent unless you’re female and already born. Incredible hypocrisy and misogyny in engelman’s comment where the men impregnating females, willing or not, are not where the trouble begins. I mean, at least share the blame equally in an ungodliness that has no problem supporting a criminal liar chosen by their god to be in the White House. Ketchup, anyone? Smashed dishes? This is backward mindset is how we had a misogynistic traitor in the White House. To do the dirty, misogynistic, racist, homophobic work of the extremist religious right in this country.

            There are genuinely people who liken abortion in most cases to murder. This is not what I am responding to. I am responding to the hypocrisy and misogyny of the extremist religious right which has been brought into our Supreme Court by a lying cheat.

  1. A civilized society formed by moral men and women uphold and preserve life unborn and born. Such a society wards off threats by good conscience. Abortionists are culpable of treachery in taking an innocent life.

    • Treachery?! I think you have that mixed up with a valid medical procedure that is a private choice for the woman, and discussed with her physician.

  2. To Albert, Andrew and Greg…how dare you? Each circumstance surrounding an abortion is different. By your names I don’t think you are female therefore by basic facts of biology can literally walk away from a pregnancy. Can each of you honestly state that each and every time you had sex with a woman you made sure she didn’t have an unplanned pregnancy? Can any of you comprehend what it might be like to be told your fetus had anomalies inconsistent with life? Or that you will die if you carry a pregnancy to term? Stop judging something you cannot know about. BTW….have each of you had a vasectomy?

    • Ms Desmarais. this is not about unplanned or anomalies or unwanted. This is about killing an innocent life in there. Most abortions ae performed for birth control not for life of the mother or congenital malformations. The only one I would support is if my child bearing wife would die. I pick my wife who I know over the unborn who I do not know. Only one exception. You have your opinion and millions of others have the same opinion I do.

      • Where do you get your statistics that most abortions are used for birth control? Please cite.

        • From the misogyny 101 textbook chapter titled, “Evil women and the poor nebbishes who have sex with them”. Fact, (not that facts matter to engelman) about half of all unwanted pregnancies are reported to occur when contraception is used.

          “While there was a consensus that abortion cannot replace contraceptive use, poor couple communication, lack of planning, lack of acceptable contraceptive methods and the pleasures that people associate with having unprotected sex result in the perception that some individuals rely on abortion over contraception to prevent unintended births. Men and women both identified women as solely in charge of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy and resolving it should one occur. No one supported repeat abortions for themselves or others, and many respondents perceived multiple abortions to lead to infertility, which strengthens their position that substituting abortion for contraception is unacceptable.”

          “Between 2000 and 2014, the overall number of abortions in the United States declined significantly, and available evidence suggests that improvements in contraceptive use contributed to the abortion decline.”

          • Jackie your quote above makes my point. ”Fact, (not that facts matter to engelman) about half of all unwanted pregnancies are reported to occur when contraception is used.”
            If indeed half unwanted pregnancies occur when contraception is used ( I agree with this)) Then abortion is indeed a contraception because the woman didnt want one in the first place. Do you get it?

          • Seriously, why would it be ok for a medical professional to do a medical procedure? How silly, because we all know the religious views of yours, should be everyone’s views and too bad so sad if you don’t like it. This notion religion will save everyone is preposterous. Let’s go check how the Catholic Church deals with the abundance of pedophiles, gay pedophiles at that. Let’s also check your beliefs against what the Bible actually says about abortion and homosexuality……….I’ll wait for the verses…you can respond when you find them

      • Engleman, this is not about “killing an innocent life.” That, right there, is the psy-op you fell for when you sided with the pro-life crowd. Abortion is a women’s health issue. Period. A woman ought to be able to receive the health care she needs. A developing fetus doesn’t have the capacity to derive meaning from its existence. It contemplates nothing. It has no emotion. Responses to external stimuli are the result of rudimentary neural networks beginning to form. Women are fully-formed humans whose rights should supersede those of a developing fetus. The point at which a bundle of cells should be considered as its own human entity is debateable. The notion that life begins at conception is not anywhere close to universal.

    • Susan, you got Albert wrong.
      He is pro remove whatever you want from your body.
      Warts and all, whatever is physically connected.

  3. When men give birth (and fund and raise the vast majority of children), then their opinion will have relevance on this subject.

    In the meantime, men should prepare themselves for the national female abstinence strike. It’s now the preferred form of American birth control.

  4. SCOTUS has determined that the people should make their own decisions regarding abortion. Why are these people demonizing democracy?

    • john– how can you possibly twist this SCOTUS decision into an argument that it allows people to make their own decisions regarding abortion ?

      • Do you not understand the decision? The court has determined that the people, rather than an unelected arm of the federal government, should be free to vote on laws regarding abortion. It’s possible that some states that have very strict laws regarding abortion may with the will of the people relax those laws. You think that’s a bad thing?

        • John– are you saying that states are going to have plebiscites to determine the rules about abortion ?
          And if so, what do you think the pro life community would say about the validity of that vote when they lost ?
          What I do think is a bad thing is to have state legislatures spend their time every 4 years or so redefining who and when someone can have an abortion.

          • Yes exactly. The ability to have an abortion will now be voted on by the people’s representatives. How is this a bad thing? Laws are subject to change all the time. There is no constitutional right to an abortion. Roe v. Wade was a poor decision that now has been fixed. Do you think all Supreme Court decisions create a right regardless of their consequences? Should they have never righted the wrong in the Dred Scott decision?

  5. Those who support the state forcing some women to give birth must also support the state forcing other women to have abortions. It isn’t a one way street. When you open the door to state oppression and control of certain citizens’ bodies, all of the other evils come right through the door also. Women, real actual living women, will now die needlessly as a result of this cruel decision. Make note of who supports this decision. They are authoritarian, theocratic, sexist people who are not to be trusted.

    • I disagree. Depriving someone of a medical procedure is not tantamount to forcing someone to undergo a medical procedure, particulaly when the medical procedure involves destruction of a potential human life.

      • The entire point, which is being missed, is this: it’s not as simple as saying “potential human life”. There’s the entire life after birth you have to consider. Which in turn reverts to each individual because you aren’t taking care of that life you forced to be born. You don’t deal with any of the consequences. If this was actually about the life of the fetus you would include the rest of it in your thoughts.

        • Zeke, I have yet to see ANY pro-BIRTHERS (because thas what they are) respond to this point- because they know as well as we do that they don’t actually care about the welfare of the children, they just want them born- which in turn proves that they are disingenuous and only care about controlling women in the name of “morality” (something they know nothing about). They argue that nobody is promised an easy life. Sure, I won’t argue against that point on its face value. But we have the power to better the lives of those living today. The pro-birthers choose not to.

  6. A civilized society does not force women and minor girls to give birth. Authoritarian, misogynistic, religious extremists who are threatened by females having the power to make their own decisions do that. They do that especially to the weakest, most vulnerable without the means to seek safe, legal abortions that are available hours and days, plane rides, and states or countries away.

    A civilized society provides universal healthcare, paid maternity leave, free childcare and preschool. Let’s not pretend that the religious right imposing their dark age religion are not living in a mindset where cavemen clubbed their women and dragged them home by their hair. What the minority religious right has done and is planning is the antithesis is decency, morality, separation of church and state, etc. It is unAmerican. It certainly isn’t democracy, even in the loosest interpretation of our Constitution. By the way, the Supreme Court is supposed to interpret and decide constitutional legitimacy based on THE WILL OF THE WHOLE PEOPLE, not the “tumult and conflict of the political process”.

    The cheering commenters here are just plain wrong, but lying about facts is what they do.

  7. Savita Halappanavar. All of you who don’t support a woman’s right to control her own body need to look up this name, and read her tragic story. And don’t think that what happened to her won’t happen here. Even Ireland, dominated for years by the Catholic Church, has awakened to support and legalize abortion. Women are living in fear and dread, and this is going to have consequences in our society that will spread across political, economic, educational and social circumstances.Every woman who becomes pregnant is now in more danger , even if she wants the pregnancy.

    • Maureen, you are correct, but they are way too cynical and myopic to see that. Let’s also not fail to mention the horrors of human trafficking, whose victims will be those unwanted pregnancies forced to term. There are not enough foster homes in the country to rectify this. Most of the children in the foster system already age out before being adopted. And these people want to multiply that number? This is how we get victims and criminals. Many will turn to a life of crime to survive. Some of their vulnerable peers will be their victims. The pro-birth camp seems to have this ludicrous fantasy that these kids will struggle a little bit and then magically pull themselves up by their bootstraps like in a Disney movie (because Jesus said so), with absolutely no social support at all, just like their tough great-great-grandparents. After all, they need Jesus, not science, history, arithmetic, english and language arts, and especially not common sense. They’ll blame it all on the woman for “losing her chastity” before being able to care for her child, and never hold the father accountable for anything. Their idea of morality stipulates that it’s better to live in a world where the vast majority of people struggle and get no help at all, while getting stomped on the face while they’re down, while a chosen few (white, male Christians) are worshipped and bask in quantities of wealth so vast they will never see all they have. Ok, I suppose even Satan has morals. Let’s force a child into existence so they can experience a lifetime of endless suffering. Nope, can’t see anything wrong with that. All that Ten Commandments stuff goes right out the window when it comes to the Second Amendment and a woman’s right to choose. They also seem to think that it should be up to the states. Again, ludicrous! You can’t “leave it up to the states” when it comes to social justice. The Supreme Court has become part of a Christian conspiracy. We can’t vote out the crooked justices, but we can take our voice to the ballot box and replace the policitians who helped put them there and further this attack on our democracy. Vote them all out.

  8. The men – and women – who support this overturning of Roe vs Wade are being manipulated by greater powers, who don’t for a second care one bit about the “unborn” or any kind of moral issue about abortion. This is a power grab, plain and simple, with motives purely of control and greed. Keeping people down, alienating and oppressing certain groups, keeps a small group rich and in control. You’re being deceived by propaganda and allowing yourselves to be the mouthpiece for folks who don’t care at all about you, and whose motives are not going to benefit you.

    • Absolute Nonsense. I know your rhetoric will fly with the woke mob but this decision righted a wrong. It’s none of the things you say it is. It rightfully puts the abortion issue up for a vote in each state if necessary. Do you not support democracy?

      • John, should each State be able to decide on gay marriage?
        Interacial marriage?
        Age disparity in marriage?

      • Civil rights should not be subject to a democratic vote. Slavery was ok in the South and would have continued without its prohibition by the federal government. The right to control your own body is the most basic of civil rights. It should not be up to a vote what you can do with your own body. And I put zero credence in “life” arguments put forward by people who think everybody should be walking around with instruments of death.

  9. I am just so sick and tired of arrogant, righteous, entitled men blatting on. How do we let them take up so much space and try to control women’s bodies and lives? I loved the abstinence strike suggestion.

  10. You got it right Joanne. This is not about life or children. This is about control – misogyny, racism, religion and white supremacy, period. This is one part of the plan – relegate women to second class citizens.

  11. Hess. Same sex marriage is protected under the Constitution under the Equal Protection Act of the 14th Amendment. Abortion is not.

  12. I saw a bumper sticker once that said ” If men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament” Enough said….

  13. I am so troubled by the men on here who are making antichoice comments. You will never be faced with an unwanted or troubled pregnancy happening inside your own body. For those of you who are saying “abortion is killing an innocent baby,” or a saying that a woman “can choose to not have sex with a man without a condom,” or who are spouting about saving ourselves until marriage… you are entitled to those simplistic opinions. I disagree with each one, and I am an equal citizen to you. Let me say it again: I completely disagree with you. Each comment shows a lack of intellectual understanding of the issue, a lack of knowledge about the breadth of complications and risk that can happen during pregnancy, and a lack of plain old compassion and empathy for real-life scenarios. Even absent problems or complications, the only person who gets to decide whether to continue a pregnancy is the pregnant person. Period. It is never any of your business. Thank you, Jonathan Chatinover, for reminding everyone that “the right to control your own body is the most basic of civil rights. It should not be up to a vote what you can do with your own body.” The pregnant body belongs to the pregnant person, not a fetus. The pregnant person has primacy. The SCOTUS ruling, and the decades-long campaign leading up to it, is about control of women. The fact that some of you men are on here making your simplistic comments without ANY embarrassment makes the point better than any argument you’ll get from those of us who actually know what we’re talking about.

  14. Abortion is a womens health issue, not a moral issue. The moral issue is that those of you who, based on your religion/faith, and/or the propaganda you’ve been subjected to, hold unrealistic expectations that everyone must do everything perfectly at all times, that mistakes are unfoorgivable, and that we should do absolutely nothing at all to make life easier for people in general, especially those whose births you want to force to occur. We don’t live in a perfect world, hence abortions exist as an option to deal with unwanted pregnancies. You don’t get to give a woman less rights than a freaking corpse and call that a morally-sound philosophy.

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