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Bans Off Our Bodies protest held in Staunton on Saturday

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Bans Off Our Bodies protests happened around the country Saturday and people from around the Valley showed up in Staunton to make their voices heard.

“I’m a medical student so I see firsthand every day the people who need abortions and how important it is to the life of the mother and how it really is healthcare and I felt like I couldn’t rightly stand by and do nothing when a very important part of people’s healthcare was at risk,” Aliena Lowell, who attended Saturday’s protest said.

The protests come after the Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked earlier this month.

“I had a feeling this would happen so I just had to be here,” Catherine Lowell, who attended Saturday’s protest said.

People gathered at the Augusta County Courthouse with their signs and chants to make their presence known.

”Start sharing our stories, start talking more openly about it, and making sure people realize how normal it is and how it is part of our healthcare,” Jennifer Lewis, running for Congress in the 6th District said.

As their voices were heard and their signs were seen, people at the protest were also able to share their own stories about abortion.

”It’s a selfless decision and I just want all of the other women out there right now who have either had abortions or considering having abortions to know that there is nothing to be ashamed of and they should be proud of themselves for making the responsible and selfless choice,” Emily Smarte, who attended Saturday’s protest said.

Smarte said she has had an abortion and a child and wanted to share both sides with the crowd today.

“I am somebody who has both had an abortion and had a child. It’s an incredibly difficult decision to make when you’re in that position. I am extremely proud of myself for choosing to have an abortion when I was 18 years old because I would not have been able to provide a good life for the child,” Smarte said.

People at the protest said they came to show that the majority of people support abortions.

“It’s really important to get out there and vote, we are constantly put in these situations where we have to come out and rally to fight for our basic rights,” Lewis said.

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