Eastern, Charleston community members rally at Morton Park for abortion rights


Rob Le Cates

Coles Progressives, community members and students at Eastern rally as one and protest against the U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion potentially indicating support for overturning Roe v. Wade Friday at noon at Morton Park.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Members of the Charleston and Eastern communities gathered for a pro-choice rally organized by Coles Progressives in response to the Supreme Court’s draft opinion that indicates interest in overturning the landmark abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade.

Individuals stood on Lincoln Avenue in front of Morton Park with signs, some of which read “hands off our bodies,” “Save Roe,” and “keep your laws off our bodies.”

Susan Jenkins, a member of Coles Progressives who helped organize the rally, said her goal was to bring awareness to the variety of issues entangled with abortion rights.

“My goal is to somehow get people to be aware that preserving reproductive rights isn’t about killing babies,” Jenkins said. “It’s about choice. It’s about freedom. It’s about women having control over their own bodies.”

Supporters shared the same sentiment.

Ellen and Keith Wolcott, of Charleston, said they are concerned about the possible outcomes of Roe v. Wade being overturned.

“It’s untenable if they would do away with Roe v. Wade,” Ellen Wolcott said. “You can’t take someone’s organs after they die, so if they take away a woman’s right to have an abortion then a dead body has more rights than a woman.”

“It’s just it’s completely wrong,” Keith Wolcott said. “We cannot live in a society where women are going to die because they have no choice.”

Zoey White, a senior political science major, said she felt it was important to show support for abortion rights.

“We’re all in this together,” White said. “Everybody plays a part.”

Linda and Duke Bagger, of Charleston, said the draft opinion was shocking, but not surprising.

Duke Bagger said he felt the Supreme Court was sending a message with its draft opinion.

“No woman’s life is worth saving. Because even in the case of saving a woman’s life, they may not do anything to save her,” Duke Bagger said. “So that tells you the entire attitude towards women: You’re disposable. You’re dispensable. You’re replaceable.”

Linda Bagger said if people are in support of abortion rights, they should show it with actions.

“You know, we just think if you’re going to talk it that you ought to at least do something, so here we are,” Linda Bagger said.

Duke Bagger said he felt the pro-life movement is hypocritical.

“Once the umbilical cord is cut, they just don’t care about life at all,” Duke Bagger said.

Those in attendance were met with both positive and negative reactions from people driving by, as well as a Charleston resident who came to confront the individuals at the rally, Bridgette Price.

Price asked rally attendees “who’s going to wipe your ass when you get old”, told them they were killing babies, dead babies are being eaten by China and blew cigarette smoke at them.

Jenkins said she expected some disagreements to occur, but was happy that there was no violence. However, she was upset to have cigarette smoke blown in her face after having open-heart surgery.

“She’s standing there screaming about the right to smoke or cigarette or yell at us or whatever,” Jenkins said. “But she can’t see that she’s doing to us the same thing she thinks we’re doing to her.”

Linda Bagger said she felt the best way to handle opposing views is to have conversations and discuss the issue at hand.

“That crazy little woman that was running up and down screaming ‘If you don’t have babies who is gonna wipe your ass when you’re old,’ and I thought you said the reason people have babies? I don’t think so,” Linda Bagger said. “I think we need to talk about it and try to reason with people and have discussions with people that disagree with us. And maybe we can change some minds.”


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].