Buck Off Our Bodies: Pro Choice March and Rally Happening Saturday at Conwell Park
Recently, it was revealed that the Supreme Court is considering overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that, in 1973, ruled that the Constitution of the United States protected a pregnant woman's liberty to decide whether or not she would carry the pregnancy to term, without excessive government restriction.
For decades, Roe v. Wade has served as the benchmark for Pro Choice protection but, now, a leaked report obtained by Politico confirms that the Supreme Court is voting to overturn the landmark decision.
"The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision — Planned Parenthood v. Casey — that largely maintained the right," Politco wrote.
In the document, labeled as the 'Opinion of the Court,' Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, a man, wrote that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start."
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives."
When news of the leaked decision became public, both sides of the political spectrum immediately voiced discontentment. Many women stated the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion should be theirs and theirs alone- it shouldn't be decided by a panel of judges, mostly made up of men.
Republicans, for their part, were upset that the decision was leaked in the first place.
In Wyoming, especially, the topic of abortion is a controversial one. Currently, Wyoming has a 'Trigger Ban' in place that bans most forms of abortion. Governor Gordon recently signed into law legislation that would 'ban abortion entirely in Wyoming,' if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Because of this, and because of the Supreme Court's decision, women around the country are coming together to tell the world to "buck off our bodies."
On Saturday, May 14, 2022, a nationwide protest is being planned to tell the supreme court that they have no say over what women do with their bodies. Casper will host its own rally and march, beginning at 1 p.m. at Veteran's Park. The march will run from Veteran's Park to Conwell Park, followed by a rally led by Julie Burkhart, the founder of Circle of Hope.
"It's a day of national protests across the nation, and we wanted to be a part of it," said Holly Thompson, one of the organizers of the march. "It's a team effort, and we had 18 people show up to a planning meeting. There's 18 people planning this."
Thompson said that she and her fellow organizers are hoping for 300-500 people to turn out for the march and rally but that she'd be happy with any number.
"I just want to create awareness, especially in our younger generation, about what's going on," she said. "I was 24 years old when Roe v. Wade was enacted. That's many, many years of a precedent being set. And now, because elections matter so much, we have a very conservative Supreme Court. And I just want to create awareness in younger people about what they need to do."
Prolife marches are nothing new, but they've never had to be held regarding the Roe v. Wade decision being overturned. It's a massive decision, with enormous implications for both men and women. And it's a decision that many women never thought they would have to stand up against.
"I was on the phone with some leaders from around the state yesterday about what's going on," Thompson said. "And one woman said 'We're all already in our fifties, sixties, seventies. We've been fighting all these years and we can't believe that we have to go back and start all over again.'"
Thompson said the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has been brewing for sometime, and the election of the justices was done to ensure that it remained mostly conservative.
"It's been part of a Republican master plan for many, many years, going back to Jerry Falwell," she said. "This is something they've been wanting to do for a long time. And many of our Supreme Court Justices are coming out of a very conservative, far right institute. We need to create awareness for that. We need to start holding our legislators, even at the state level, accountable for the kinds of votes that they're doing and what they're doing to hurt women."
Thompson said that part of the plan to elect conservative justices came when former president Donald Trump was in office.
"There's a very far right movement in the Republican party; not only nationwide but right here in Wyoming. I don't think we would have this happening in the court if Trump hadn't been elected."
Former president Trump, during his time in office, elected Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
A flyer for Saturday's event encourages attendees to wear white to show solidarity. It also encourages them to "fight for your rights" and to "tell them to buck off our bodies."
That's exactly what will happen Saturday afternoon.
"This is a peaceful protest," Thompson said. "We need people to come out and show their support for 50% of Wyoming's population, which is women. And we want them to understand that elections matter, and we need to create a consistent effort to hold our own legislators accountable."