Stanford students protested in Cooley Courtyard on May 3, the morning after Politico published a leaked draft of a majority Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. What started as a rally in the courtyard turned into a march when a timid voice within the crowd asked, “Can we march?” Within seconds the students cheered and began marching throughout the campus.
There was a mixture of emotions ranging from outrage to fear for the future of reproductive healthcare. Among the concerns raised was the overwhelming consensus that low-income people and people of color would most be affected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“I’m here because I value bodily autonomy for women,” said Stanford University student Anna Howell as she stood in front of the Stanford Law Center. “Abortion is such a needed medical procedure for so many people, particularly women of color, and it’s a very serious issue in our time, and the fact that the courts have been consistently trying to take this right away from us is abhorrent.”
Several students were also intentional about using the word “people” instead of “women” to include transgender people who also rely on safe access to abortions.
“I think that we in the coming months and years will have to balance California women, sorry, people, in other states trying to access this care,” student organizer Sarah Corning said.
While the leaked opinion has created uncertainty and confusion, one thing is certain – it has ignited a spirit of activism in people across communities. The protest that organized by Stanford Law School students and Stanford Planned Parenthood is among many others that erupted across the nation in response to the leaked draft.