CHICO – Chico, along with the rest of the world, has learned that nearly 50 years after the landmark Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decided to overturn the court case that made abortion a constitutional right.
The ruling notes transfers of rights for people to choose an abortion to the power of individual states, putting the possibility of abortion restrictions on the table. Many residents expressed their opinion on Friday.
Demonstration on the square
In 100-degree heat, more than 250 protesters joined the Chico Women’s March to march around the town square, circling three times before parking through Chico’s council chambers.
Francine Gair, who said she moved to California in 1967, five years before the courts declared abortions constitutional. On Friday, she joined the protest.
“I just feel like we’re stepping back,” Gair said. “I’m 76, and I’ve been through a lot of upheaval, and I feel like we’re just taking huge steps backwards.”
Luna Retzer held her sign in the middle of the square.
“I didn’t think this would happen when the draft was released, but I’m not surprised,” Retzer said. “I’m pissed. I don’t think anyone should have an opinion on what I’m doing with my body and my doctor, but I don’t think we understand the seriousness of what they’re doing, and we don’t care. to be able to embark on a slippery slope.
As the protest continued, people took turns sharing their experiences and opinions into a microphone.
Chico State Associate Public Health Professor Lindsay Briggs says abortion looms large in other issues in the country other than women’s rights.
“Trans and non-binary people have abortions. Men who support a person’s right to bodily autonomy help and support people seeking abortions,” Briggs said. “Abortion is often the very last act of empowerment for someone who has been shunned by so many other systems.”
Abortion represents the last chance for people who had limited access to quality sex education, live in poverty and see health inequities, to make a deeply personal decision for their own lives, Briggs said.
“And now, again, that’s being taken away,” Briggs said. “If people can’t decide what’s best for their own lives and circumstances, how can we claim to be the land of the free? There is no freedom from being compelled by the government to be forced into having an unwanted pregnancy for any reason.
Chico State political science lecturer John Crosby said the reversal is an overreach and attack on privacy rights that will impact how voters get to the polls.
“At the local and state level in California, this decision will effectively eliminate the Republican Party from any state office,” Crosby said. “Some outliers in rural areas may survive, but Republicans are done with it. How this will affect national politics will actually be decided in November. Hopefully, this decision will lead to more young people understanding the impact of politics on their life and make them more active.
Planned Parenthood Northern California CEO Gilda Gonzalez said the decision leaves the nonprofit appalled, but not defeated.
“We will continue to ensure that abortion services are available for anyone coming from California or other states,” Gonzalez said. “We believe in the fundamental right of everyone to make their own personal decisions regarding their fertility, future and family. This worst-case scenario will not stop us.
Statements by politicians
On Friday, news of the repeal sparked a flurry of backlash from local and state officials.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision to repeal Roe is a victory for the right to life, for the unborn child, and for the constitution,” said Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) “It nearly 50 years ago, a partisan court created the right to abort a child Out of nowhere. States. In our representative republic, it is the people’s elected officials who should make the laws and balance the trade-offs, not the judges.”
Challenger for the LaMalfa seat, Max Steiner (D-Chico) said the decision is a disaster.
“It’s a disaster for women who will be forced to turn to dangerous and illegal providers. It is also a disaster for the Court, which has swept away 250 years of legitimacy and given itself a new and dangerous role as an openly partisan branch of government. It is now up to the elected branches of government, Congress and the presidency, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans. »
US Senator Alex Padilla (D-California) denounced the decision in a statement to the media, saying abortion is a basic right.
“This draconian decision will deprive millions of Americans of the fundamental freedom to make decisions for their own bodies. It also jeopardizes other fundamental civil rights,” Padilla said.
“I refuse to accept a reality in which women across the country are denied the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health,” he said.