Bettendorf High School students took to the streets to protest the reversal of the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. The outrage stemmed from the recent leak of the judges’ majority opinion draft, suggesting the court supported the reversal of the case.
In 1970, Jane Roe (a fictional name to protect identity) filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, challenging the Texas law making abortion illegal except by a doctor’s orders. The backbone of the case was the right to personal privacy, cited in several amendments including the First.
Later that same year, the court ruled in favor of Roe, stating that first-trimester abortions are a woman’s choice, the second trimester is up to the state to decide, within reason, and the third trimester is also left to the states, which may regulate abortions or prohibit them entirely.
Roe v. Wade has since been a controversial topic in politics, seen in the public’s response to the leaked majority opinion. Many Americans praised the judges, while others were outraged at the result.
On May 10, students met on the football field and protested, expressing their concern and anger towards the reversal and support for the right to choose. Some students wore the color red to show their support for the protesters, along with making colorful, eye-catching signs.
“Students were taken aback by the leak of the Supreme Court draft overturning Roe v. Wade. We wanted to speak out and let people know that we’re not okay with this. We made sure we spoke to the administration about it so they would know,” said Tamanna Kapoor, a student who participated in Tuesday’s protest.
The protest eventually moved to the side of 18th St. as many students felt that it was pointless to protest on the empty football field.
There was one counter-protester though, Riley Marshall, who played the guitar and sang next to the other protesters.
“A lot of people when they do pro-life or anti-abortion protests, they can be aggressive,” said Marshall. “But I don’t think that is the best way to spread our message.”
Marshall hoped to convey his views in a non-violent way.
“I wanted to express my belief in a more peaceful way, I was just sitting there, playing a song with a sort of pro-life message to it. Just wanted to spread a positive message about, you know, life,” said Marshall. “I think that life is a very special thing. That was the message I was trying to deliver.”
Beyond abortion, some students believe that if the reversal is to go through, it would affect much more than Roe v. Wade.
“[The reversal] affects sex education, the use of contraception, the use of birth control,” said Kapoor. “It affects access to those things. Roe v. Wade is the foundation of so many other Supreme Court decisions, whether that’s regarding race, gay rights; people forget that it’s an umbrella law and that it’s going to affect more than the pro-choice, pro-life sides of the issue.”