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'We won't go back:' Cincinnatians protest possible reversal of Roe v. Wade

Over a hundred people rallied at the Hamilton County Courthouse Wednesday night to protest the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. A leaked draft opinion indicates the Supreme Court will likely reverse the decades-old ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Demonstrators like Clarke Schmidt say they're scared about the future.

"I feel very angry and helpless," Schmidt said. "And I feel like the protesting is like using my rights to make it known what I stand for and like, that's the most like empowering thing I think I can do right now."

Autumn Ashford says hearing about the draft opinion was heart-wrenching.

"We're not allowed to choose what we do with our bodies? That's a ridiculous thought to me," Ashford said. "I've known people who have had abortions, and they've had very, very good reasons."

Many states have enacted "trigger laws" designed to immediately ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is reversed, including Kentucky. Two such bills are under consideration at the Ohio legislature and have enough support from state lawmakers to pass.

Molly Scruta says lawmakers need to take action to protect abortion access outside of the Supreme Court.

"My central hope is that they would pass the equal rights amendment at the federal level and codify Roe v Wade federally as well," Scruta said.

A recent poll finds 63% of Americans support Roe v. Wade; a poll from 2019 finds 61% of Ohio voters support it.

A final decision is expected before the Supreme Court takes a summer recess at the end of June.

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.