Anchorage group rallies for reproductive rights in wake of Supreme Court leak

a person holds a sign that reads "abortion is basic healthcare"
Iva Karoly-Lister holds a sign that reads, “Abortion is basic healthcare”. Roughly 200 people gather at rush hour Tuesday in Midtown Anchorage to rally for the protection of reproductive rights. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

A draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion, leaked to Politico on Monday, suggests justices are poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which constitutionally protects peoples’ abortion rights.

By Tuesday morning, national calls for action spread online for pro-choice rallies to occur at 5 p.m. local time. Rally organizers in Anchorage chose the corner of Minnesota Drive and Northern Lights Boulevard, where roughly 200 people convened during rush hour Tuesday evening.

people hold up a large banner that reads "keep abortion safe & legal"
Roughly 200 people gather in Anchorage to rally for the protection of reproductive rights. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

“Abortion is still safe and legal,” said Nora Morse, the political and field director at Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “Roe v. Wade has not been overturned. You can still access care — that’s really important for people to know.”

Nearby, Stand Up Alaska executive director Erin Jackson-Hill held a cardboard cutout of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

“I see a lot of really, really angry people,” she said. “I see a lot of people who feel disenfranchised. I see a lot of people who feel like we’re taking a huge step backward in time. I see a lot of people that are scared, frankly.”

two people pose with a cardboard cutout of a politician
Erin Jackson Hill (left), Moira Pyhala and Marmalade the dog pose with a cardboard cutout of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a sign that reads, “Hey Lisa, pass the Women’s Healthcare Protection Act.” (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Jackson-Hill urged Murkowski to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal legislation that would protect people’s right to access abortion care.

“I don’t say that you have to agree with abortion. But I think most people don’t agree with forced birth, which is what we’re talking about here,” said Jackson-Hill. “I don’t have children. If I had been forced to have children, I don’t think that I would be here.”

RELATED: Murkowski says if draft opinion holds, it undermines her confidence in Supreme Court

a person stands with a sign that reads "what? do we look like handmaidens?" in front of people at a rally
Katherine Pfeiffer recalls having a conversation with her grandmother about self-managed abortions. “I remember her telling me that it wasn’t clothes hangers that they used, but rather was this tube that had a wire. And she told me that they used to pass it around. And that was what they use for birth control. And she told me about one of my aunts who perforated her cervix in her uterus, and what the aftermath of that was. And I don’t want to have to go back to that.” (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)
a person stands with a "protect safe, legal abortion" sign
Ron Meehan, a regional vice chair for the Alaska Democratic Party, says, “I think now more than ever it’s so incredibly important that we’re standing up for a woman’s right to choose.” (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)
people hold signs at a pro-choice rally
Roughly 200 people gather at rush hour Tuesday Midtown Anchorage to rally for the protection of reproductive rights. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

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