Pro-choice protesters demonstrate on Fourth of July in Roanoke

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Several dozen protesters spent their Fourth of July holiday voicing their beliefs in Roanoke to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Nearly 80 protesters lined the steps of the federal courthouse in a ‘Freedom for All’ Protest. The protest came after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade two weeks ago.

Organizers WDBJ7 spoke with told reporters they specifically chose the Fourth of July for their protest.

“It’s not just July the Fourth, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, it’s also a day for Freedom,” Virginia Senator John Edwards (D-21) said.

Protestors gathered on the courthouse steps on Independence Day over what organizers say is a lack of independence.

“What independence do women have right now?” Kathryn Huntress said. “We don’t have a choice. At a federal level, and people can argue about state, but at a federal level, women do not have a choice they’re not protected. So why should we celebrate Independence Day of America?”

Edwards spoke to protesters outside the federal building and encouraged registering to vote. Organizers hope Monday’s protest is a call to action, but emphasized doing so in a peaceful way.

“I hope that people walk away inspired, to write, to speak, to vote, to start their own events, and to say no to this,” Kathryn Walthall said.

“It’s important to be peaceful about it, we can’t rule through ignorance and violence,” Huntress said.

Other protesters also stressed the significance of protesting on the Fourth of July.

“As a mom, raising kids, that choice is incredibly important for me,” Robyn Dayton said. “It’s incredibly important to them as they grow up. And I just want them to be able to see, on Independence Day right, this is how we fight for our independence.”

There were no counter protests at the same time of the ‘Freedom for All’ protest. Two weeks after the Supreme Court’s decision, abortion laws in Virginia have not changed.

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