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[Photos] Hundreds in downtown Birmingham protest SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade

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Protesters gathered in Linn Park, situated between the Jefferson County Courthouse and Birmingham City Hall. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

The Birmingham Times

Hundreds gathered at Birmingham’s Linn and Kelly Ingram Parks this weekend to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, stripping women across the country of the federal guarantee to abortion as a right.

On Saturday, the Yellowhammer Fund, a statewide reproductive rights organization, and Margins, a nonprofit which seeks to help support Black woman parents, organized a protest at Linn Park, right between the Jefferson County Courthouse and Birmingham City Hall.

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On Sunday, protesters gathered at Kelly Ingram Park, organized by Alabama Rally Against Injustice and the People Organizing for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) House, before marching down 5th Avenue North to the Hugo L. Black federal courthouse.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell said Friday, “today marks a dark day for women’s reproductive rights in the United States. With this devastating decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has reversed nearly 50 years of legal precedent and stripped away a woman’s right to make her own decisions about deeply personal health care matters.”

She added, ”empowered by the Court, extremist politicians in state legislatures across the country will now begin racing to criminalize reproductive health care. Make no mistake, our nation’s most vulnerable women will be hit hardest by this decision.”

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said the ruling “is the result of partisan politics intruding on individual rights. Women’s reproductive rights should be decided by women. Period.”

The Alabama NAACP issued a state that said “the Supreme Court decision marks a significant regression for our state. This is a direct attack on all women on the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies and stands to be an egregious assault on basic human rights.

“‘The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP believes that the ruling today will force Alabama women to make decisions that cause women to seek healthcare in backhouses,’ said Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama NAACP. This ruling also threatens other long-standing civil and human rights cases that have been won by groups like the NAACP.

“As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision the Alabama NAACP will form partnerships with grass roots organizations to increase awareness and generate solutions to keep women safe.”

Meanwhile, the Alabama Republican Party applauded the decision.

“Today, the fundamental human right to life won. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision correctly returns the issue of abortion back to the states where it belongs. Each state will now be able to determine how it will proceed on this matter.

“The Alabama Republican Party will continue its work with our state leaders on measures that will help expectant and new mothers, as well as the children of our state. We will also fight to cut bureaucratic red tape to make adoptions easier and more cost effective for families. We must help and protect both the born and the unborn, take care of those in need, and provide viable alternatives for those facing difficult situations. We care about and love both the mothers and the babies of our state.”

Alabama Democratic Party via Chair Rep. Chris England said, “While the Supreme Court has turned back the clock back decades on our freedoms – Alabama Democrats still stand strongly for Alabamians’ freedom to make their own medical decisions – especially their right to abortion.

“In the meantime, we need Democrats in Washington to act and pass laws that protect abortion access for all Americans. We need federal action now.”