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Rally supporting women’s right to choose held on SUNY Plattsburgh campus

Students, staff and faculty gathered on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus Monday to rally in support of women’s right to choose and express concerns over the leaked Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v. Wade.

People gathered at the college’s Amite Plaza holding signs decrying the draft Supreme Court opinion that suggests the high court is poised to restrict abortion rights.

Most attending were students but there were also professors, staff and members of the community upset that what they call a basic right is now at risk.

Student organizer Mary Stockman thanked everyone for coming.

“This decision or leakage disgusted me and scared me as a woman and if it doesn’t scare you or disgust you it should. I mean I got through half of the opinion and it was like a book you had to put down and throw in the fire because it was so bad and I am worried for this country.”

A criminal justice-law and justice sophomore from Buffalo, Stockman says if the Supreme Court justices validate the draft opinion, it’s not just Roe v. Wade rights that are at risk.

“It’s the opening gate for other Supreme Court decisions to be overturned like Loving v. Virginia which has to do with interracial marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges which has to do with gay rights, also Lawrence v. Texas which also has to do with gay rights,” Stockman said. “So this is just the flood gates opening for the Supreme Court to overturn anything. I think most people just hear Roe v Wade and they think that’s it. It’s only going to be abortion. But it’s not.”

Long Island political science senior Ryan Ferguson is concerned about the implications for the rights of marginalized communities.

“While I do agree with abortion rights I think that that’s important I also think that the decision the draft decision as it was expands far beyond that and what it risks. Alito discusses the idea of all unenumerated rights coming under threat and the decision and rationale there impacts privacy rights, it impacts just a whole lot of other decisions that are based off of Roe v. Wade and that terrifies me.”

Education sophomore Owen Graf says no one should have the right to impose on someone else’s choices.

“I just think as a man I have no business saying what someone else should be able to do with their bodies. Like I shouldn’t have a say in what someone else does. If someone wants to get a tattoo on their arm why should be able to say that. If someone wants to get an abortion why should say something against that," said Graf. "Looking throughout the country if you see small scale rallies in like small towns over and over again it begins to show and reflect the majority of the views of the United States population. The majority of people do support pro-choice.”

Sheri Dumont is a photography instructor at the college. She held a sign saying “Never Again” with a wire hanger attached. She believes the draft opinion has made people realize they could lose established rights.

“It makes me very angry actually that these younger women of childbearing age are being told what to do with their bodies. It’s not right and it’s not their decisions to enforce their religious beliefs on me. On anyone. And I feel that that’s what’s happening.”

Art Department Administrative Assistant Kimberly Hall-Stone was standing next to Dumont.

“They want to turn the clock back it seems to a very ugly and scary time for women. How does somebody else get to tell anyone what to do with their body? If it was a procedure being done to a man it wouldn’t be happening.”

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Monday to provide Supreme Court justices the same level of security as members of the executive and legislative branches. It followed weekend protests at the homes of justices. The court could issue their final decision in June.

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