Abortion-rights supporters protest Supreme Court decision

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Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 23:18:19-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Abortion-rights supporters gathered in Lexington Friday evening to protest the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Several hundred people supporting Planned Parenthood and Kentucky for Reproductive Freedom gathered at Courthouse Plaza in downtown Lexington to rally and march.

"This is just the beginning. We will not stop until our rights are restored. We will not go back because freedom denied anywhere is freedom denied everywhere," said Heather Parrish, a co-founder of Kentucky for Reproductive Freedom.

Many of the protestors carried signs and chanted as cars passing along Main Street honked. Elizabeth Kantra stood along the front row on the sidewalk. She said she had been nervous about the Supreme Court decision ever since the draft opinion was leaked several weeks ago.

"It's been terrifying kind of seeing that allusion to the decision and then to finally hear it today, I've been in shock all day," she said.

The group rallied for about two hours on the plaza before marching along the sidewalks downtown.

"As a woman, I would be terrified if I had to carry an unviable pregnancy to term or I was sexually assaulted, God forbid, was forced to carry that child to term. I don't think that people understand that women have to live with that trauma the rest of their life," Kantra said.

Kantra is concerned that other rights could come under fire down the road.

"It's terrifying to read what was written and to hear that they're coming for gay marriage next. They're coming for contraceptive rights next. I just can't help but think about all the people that are less privileged than me, who are going to struggle even more," she said.

While crowds protested the decision, others in the state applauded it. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a news conference shortly after the decision came down.

"Pro-life men, women, and children all across this nation are rightly celebrating a decision that has been prayed for and worked toward for many years," Cameron said.

Cameron also said he hoped local adoption agencies would be staffed up and ready to connect babies with families.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent out a statement praising the decision.

"Millions of Americans have spent half a century praying, marching, and working towards today's historic victories for the rule of law and for innocent life. I have been proud to stand with them throughout our long journey and I share their joy today," he said.

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers also sent out a statement in support of the Supreme Court's opinion.

"The ruling today is a victory for the pro-life movement and advocates for states' rights. The issue of abortion is best suited for state legislatures to address," Stivers said.