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Supporters of abortion rights rally in downtown Rochester

Rochester abortion rights rally 6-25-22
Randy Gorbman
Hundreds of people rallied in favor of abortion rights across the street from Rochester City Hall on Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Hundreds of people gathered in Rochester near City Hall on Saturday to show support for abortion rights. That’s after the Friday Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Michelle Casey, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, was among the speakers who used a bullhorn to encourage standing or sitting along the sidewalk on Church St, to put additional pressure on lawmakers to find ways to codify abortion rights.

Among those listening to the speakers at Saturday’s rally, Natalia Gonzalez, who is worried about women who will seek out abortions in unhealthy settings.

“This ban isn’t going to stop abortions,” said Gonzalez. “It’s going to make them unsafe, it’s going to not protect them. Abortion is health care.”

Michelle Casey, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York
Randy Gorbman
Michelle Casey, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York speaks at a rally for abortion rights, in front of Rochester City Hall.

Linda Donahue, another protester, called the ruling “devastating,” and said she’s upset “that our nation’s top court has decided that we are not able to be in charge of our own bodies. Everyone should be in the streets over this one.”

Tracy Robertson said he knows a number of people affected by the Supreme Court ruling, and feels that everyone should get involved in the push for abortion rights.

“It’s like that, what’s that whole thing of like, 'first they went after the… and then they went after the…and then they went after the…' "We can’t let that happen, we all got to be hanging out together,” said Robertson.

Even though New York state officials have noted that recent actions in the state will keep abortion accessible, some of those attending Saturday’s rally in Rochester, like Chelsea Allen-Young, are concerned that situation could change someday, just like Roe v. Wade was overturned after a half-century.

“We have abortion rights today in New York state,” noted Allen-Young. “None of these rights are guaranteed and we’ve seen that after 50 years of Roe precedent, nothing is safe, so we need to stand up and be loud everyday.”

Rochester’s rally was one of several that have been held around the region, and many more across the country, since Friday’s Supreme Court ruling.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.