Hundreds of protesters gather in downtown Austin after Roe v. Wade overturned

Claire Stevens, News Reporter

UT students were among hundreds of protesters in downtown Austin for the right to an abortion Friday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion this morning overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court’s decision will make abortion illegal in Texas due to a “trigger law” that will ban all abortions from the time of fertilization. The law goes into effect 30 days after a judgment is issued overturning Roe v. Wade. Attorney general Ken Paxton also said law enforcement could prosecute for former anti-abortion laws in place before Roe v. Wade that were never repealed. 

Speakers at the protest said the ruling will endanger people seeking abortions and cause deaths.

“Without this fundamental right to abortion, women cannot be free,” said Coco Das, an organizer for Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. “The highest court in the most powerful country in the world has ruled that the states can force girls, women and anyone with uteruses to bear children against their will.”

Protestors marched from Republic Square to the Texas Capitol chanting “My body, my choice” and “F— the courts and the legislature, I am not an incubator.”

Carina Martinez, a sociology and sustainability studies senior who spoke at the rally, said she hoped she’d never need an abortion, but does not want to live in fear of not being able to get one if needed.

“I’m angry that we have allowed it to get this far, not only the legislators, but also the general public who chose not to get involved until we got to this f—ing point,” she said. “We are regressing into a dystopian reality.”

Protestors also condemned Governor Greg Abbott, who signed Texas’s trigger law last year. Abbott justified today’s supreme court decision in a press release.

“The U.S. Supreme Court correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children” said Abbott in the press release. “Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life”

Spanish senior Abigail Fuller said she went to the protest because she believes abortion saves lives.

“I just want to defend my rights and the rights of everyone else in the United States,” Fuller said. 

“Every woman deserves the option to do what they want with their body,” environmental science senior Allison McNairy said. She said she came to the protest to speak out for women.

Protesters will continue to fight, Coco Das said — and they will continue to be loud. 

“There is no going back to normal,” Das said. “How can you go back to normal when this kind of violence, this kind of terror is being heaped upon half of humanity?”