Photo by Chelsea Grinstead

A crowd of about 200 protesters covered the sidewalks outside Charleston City Hall on Broad Street Saturday afternoon demanding abortion rights in the wake of Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. 

“It’s unfair that other people’s religious beliefs are dictating our bodies,” said one protester, angry with the court’s reversal of the landmark 1973 decision that generally protected a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. “I feel like I have no autonomy.”

Several people shared personal stories and encouraged protesters to get to the polls during the November general election to vote for candidates committed to protecting individual rights to issues like abortion, contraceptives and same-sex marriage.

“This is not just a woman’s issue,” another protester said. “This is a human rights issue and trying to control people’s choices.”

Another speaker said the six justices who voted to overturn the Roe decision claimed to be pro-life, but were really just pro-birth.

“If they really cared about the life and health of the child, they would be supporting federal programs to provide childcare, medical and health care and focus on improving the safety of children.”

Protesters held signs with slogans like “Pro-life is a lie. You don’t care if women die” and “You can’t trust me with a choice but trust me with a child?” 

The protesters began to clear out around 5:30 p.m., but many were headed to the U.S. Customs House on East Bay Street to continue the protests at 7 p.m.

This is a developing story.  Please check back for more information in the days ahead.

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