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Laramie activists: Roe might be dead, but the fight isn't over

Woman in overalls standing on raised platform speaks into a megaphone. Around her stand Laramie residents holding pro-choice signs.
Jeff Victor
/
Wyoming Public Media
Laramie Rep. Karlee Provenza speaks to a pro-choice protest Friday following the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Residents of Laramie were pretty positive that the U.S. Supreme Court would strike down Roe v. Wade since that decision was leaked in May. But now the decision is official, and news of it hits hard in the Gem City.

In Wyoming, a so-called "trigger law," passed during the latest session, sought to make most abortions illegal in Wyoming once the Supreme Court knocked down Roe v. Wade. The ban is not automatic, and a review of the Supreme Court's decision must go through the state attorney general, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee, the Wyoming secretary of state and the governor before officially landing on the books in Wyoming. The decision could come down within a month.

Activists planned a protest rally in front of the Albany County Courthouse just hours after the news broke. About 200 people lined Grand Avenue, many bearing pro-choice and anti-Supreme Court signs.

Three cyclists even slowed down traffic for a few minutes on Grand Ave.

A few drivers flipped off the protesters as they drove past, but most drivers who offered any comment honked to show their support.

At one point, Laramie Rep. Karlee Provenza addressed the gathered protesters, reminding them that the fight was not over. Provenza, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, said Wyoming's trigger law includes the judiciary committee in the complex process of applying the Supreme Court's decision to state law.

"If you're worried about access to abortion services, if you're worried about the ability to have the morning-after pill, if you're worried about your right to cross state lines being infringed upon, you need to pay attention to the judiciary committee, you need to pay attention to the legislature, because these are the people that are going to come in and do something here," she said.

For many in Laramie, the news from the Supreme Court is infuriating.

"My reaction is that women don't have any rights apparently and that precedence doesn't matter in America," one resident said Friday.

Another resident was concerned about her daughter – who is young now, but will grow up in a post-Roe world.

"I'm worried about what's going to happen to her future," she said.

Others with no close connection to abortion were still concerned about the wider fight for reproductive rights.

"I don't have a vested interest in receiving an abortion, but I think that it needs to be available for people that need it," said another resident.

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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