New Jerseyans protested throughout the Garden State Tuesday evening in reaction to the leak of a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that overturns the Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and has stood for a half century.
Although a draft, news of the court’s apparent signal had a visceral reaction throughout the country as well.
At one of the rallies, about 40 people gathered in front of the Somerset County Courthouse, along Somerville’s bustling Main Street on Tuesday evening. Passing cars honked in support, eliciting cheers from the group.
The gathering came together through a network of text messages and Facebook posts being shared through the day.
“I was looking for somewhere to go. I was angry,” Jess Fogarty, 28, of Bridgewater said, explaining her search in Facebook groups this morning. She needed to channel her emotions somewhere.
Elizabeth Schulz, of Bridgewater, showed up with just two hours’ notice from a friend’s text message. She hopes the gathering will “show people they are not alone.”
“This is not my protest,” Bridgewater’s Mou Mukherjee explained. “It’s for our kids.” The 51-year-old’s children were born after 9/11 and she says they “haven’t seen many good things in this world.”
Theresa Bonner, of Somerville, pulled a painted portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg off her mantle this afternoon. “It’s time to bring Ruth out,” she told her husband before heading to the demonstration.
At an event, “Bans Off Our Bodies Rally,” at the Planned Parenthood Montclair Center, First Lady Tammy Murphy, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller were among the speakers.
Hundreds attended the event to voice their opposition to the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade. They held signs showing their views and listened to the various speakers share their thoughts on the looming possible decision by the country’s highest court.
A decision to overrule the landmark case would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, however New Jersey would not be among them.
The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act bill signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in January was in anticipation of potential undermining of the Roe v. Wade ruling by the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday ordered an investigation into what he called the “egregious breach of trust” in leaking the draft document, which was dated in February. Opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process, and a final ruling has not been expected until the end of the court’s term in late June or early July.
– Reporter Alyssa Passeggio contributed to this report. This story also contains material from the Associated Press.
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