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Laramie abortion rights supporters protest leaked plan to overturn Roe v. Wade

Shot from above of a line of protestors with signs marching May 3, 2022 in Laramie, Wyoming
Jeff Victor
Dozens of marchers circle Prexy's Pasture May 3 in Laramie. They gathered to protest recent news that the U.S. Supreme Court is planning to overturn the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.

Less than 24 hours after news broke that in a draft opinion the Supreme Court is planning to overturn Roe v. Wade, University of Wyoming students and Laramie residents led a protest on campus.

Roe v. Wade is the landmark case that has protected abortion rights for 50 years, and news of its likely reversal has been met with anger and frustration from abortion rights advocates nationwide.

Overturning Roe v. Wade would not ban abortions nationwide, but it would let states decide to ban the procedure themselves. In Wyoming, it would trigger a new law outlawing most abortions within the state's borders.

In Laramie, dozens of protesters marched around Prexy's Pasture on the UW campus, following speeches by local activists on Tuesday. They chanted "The people united will never be defeated" and "My body, my choice" while circling the campus green.

Elizabeth Hiatt is an Albany County resident who had an abortion in her early 20s to avoid raising a child in poverty.

"If you're someone who is living in poverty and you say, 'Can you afford one more mouth to feed? Can you afford one more daycare bill? Can you afford another six weeks off of work?' – No, you can't," she said. "It's just too much. It's too much to manage."

Hiatt said the end of legal abortion will not stop the demand for abortion, and that the country is likely to see a rise in so-called "back-alley abortions" – dangerous procedures performed illegally outside of medical facilities.

"If there was literally no legal access in the United States, I think that I would probably have been willing to try some pretty dangerous things because I absolutely did not want to be pregnant at that point in time," Hiatt said. "If I found myself in that situation, would I be willing to go to some sketchy provider? Would I be willing to try something at my best friend's house? Absolutely."

In southeastern Wyoming, most abortion-seekers must go to the closest clinic, a Planned Parenthood in Fort Collins. Abortion right supporters also held a protest in Lander on Tuesday.

The leaked Supreme Court decision is a draft document and it could change before the nation's highest court issues its ruling.

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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