Protest Held in Town of Andover Against Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Over 500 people attended the protest on May 3, according to the Eagle Tribune.

Students gathered in protest with signs, reading phrases such as, “My Body, My Choice,” “Supporting Women’s RIghts is Sexy,” and “We Won’t Go Back.”

Students hold a sign reading, “I Will Not Quietly Go Back to the 1950s.”

Tess Lagerquist ’24 holds a sign with fellow students on a traffic island in Shawsheen Square.

With signs and banners handmade in the Community and Multicultural Development (CaMD) office just minutes prior, Andover students who chose to participate were bussed to Shawsheen Square to protest against a Supreme Court draft, indicating plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. A total of four buses were needed to accommodate all the students who decided to attend the protest.

Roe v. Wade was the product of a court case moved up to the Supreme Court regarding a woman under the pseudonym of Jane Roe. Roe was seeking an abortion in Texas, arguing that the prohibition of abortions in her state violated her constitutional right to privacy. In 1973, the court ruled in favor of Roe with a 7-2 majority. They ruled that during the first trimester of pregancy, a person has the right to have an abortion.

However, a draft leaked to Politico indicated that the Supreme Court is composing an argument against Roe v. Wade. Three Supreme Court Justices were in the process of writing dissents at the time of the leak. According to the New York Times, a leak like this has been unprecedented in the country’s contemporary history.

Massachusetts State Representative Tram Nguyen shared her appreciation for students coming to the protest in an interview with The Phillipian. She explained the importance of mobilizing the community to fight for Roe v. Wade, as well as her individual role in putting pressure on the state to guard abortion rights.

“As a representative of Andover, I’m just so proud of how active our community is and how engaged our students are–it’s truly inspiring to see the next generation being here…This is the time to act. There is no time for complacency at this moment. Reproductive rights, reproductive freedom, gender equality and gender rights are all at risk with this upcoming Supreme Court decision and as an attorney, I am going to do everything in my power to look into the constitutionality of all this and what does that mean if the federal government were to overturn reproductive freedom,” said Nguyen.

Dori Rosenstrauch ’23, Co-president of Intersectional Feminist Club, was an attendee of the protest. She commented that the protests in Massachusetts garner different reactions from passersby than in her home state of Texas. Although she was delighted by the amount of students publicly demonstrating in Andover, she expressed worry for Texas.

“I’m first of all just really impressed that we got so many Andover students out here. That’s getting me really excited. I kind of wish I was back home right now because I feel like in Texas this would be a lot more impactful; in Massachusetts– I mean a lot of people are honking which is really great to hear but I would feel more secure about my rights specifically in Massachusetts so I’m kind of wishing I was home. But, I’m just really happy that we’re all out here, [even though] obviously the circumstances are terrible and terrifying,” said Rosentrauch.

As an attendee of the protest, Juliana Reyes ’24 voiced her frustration with the Supreme Court. She explained that she expected more support for her rights than what she felt the Court upholds.

“I think that the injustices that are happening right now are very apparent. You would think, ‘oh, this can’t happen,’ but it is happening. They’re taking away one of our rights, which is just so shocking because you would think that in this world you would have people supporting everything, but then here we are,” said Reyes.

Michael Bleiwiess, a resident of Methuen who attended the protest, shared his reasoning for demonstrating in support of Roe v. Wade. He believes that the draft is a product of prolonged plotting by the Republican party.

“My motivation is [that] I believe in human rights over religious dogma and corporate power. The current decision is a culmination of a 50 year plot by Republicans to stack the Supreme Court in order to grant constitutional rights to corporations and to elevate fundamentalist Christian dogma over civil liberties and to impose it on everyone,” said Bleiwiess.

Emilio Lozada ’22, a student who attended the protest, believes that getting an abortion is a decision that belongs to the person with the uterus. He added that the potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would not only impact the United States, but would also have worldwide consequences.

“It’s something that I believe is right, to be here. I think that whatever the U.S. decides and does has repercussions. Besides whatever happens to a few states, it has repercussions in other countries and decisions for a lot of people. I don’t think anyone can decide for others what they do with their own body,” said Lozada.