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‘We’re going to take our country back:’ Thousands turn out in San Francisco to protest overturn of Roe v. Wade

Zuzu Gehrman, 18, a 3-time rape survivor, protests the overturning of Roe V. Wade outside San Francisco City Hall on Friday, June 24, 2022. Gehrman is “worried sick” for their sister and “all the other people with uterus’ out there that got their bodily autonomy revoked.” | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Thousands of protestors, young and old, gathered at the Phillip Burton Federal Building this evening to decry the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, eliminating reproductive rights nationwide. The rally was one of several taking place in San Francisco and many others across the nation to mark opposition to the ruling.

Protestor Lisa Roth was an abortion clinic worker in 1973 when Roe v. Wade passed. She also remembered thousands of people in the streets that day, except they were cheering. 

“This [ruling] is about taking away the basic rights of a human being to determine what goes on with her own body,” Roth said, “but particularly for poor women and women of color and women with disabilities and women who can’t drive 500 miles or get on an airplane to get what should be an everyday normal medical procedure.”

Activists and protestors pledged to block Market Street, in San Francisco, Calif, for 50 minutes to reflect the 50 years that Roe V. Wade was upheld in the United States, on Friday, June 24, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Among 21 states that still protect the constitutional right to abortion, California remains a sanctuary state for those seeking reproductive health. While the ruling does not diminish California’s abortion access, access to reproductive rights across the country looms large over Bay Area residents. 

“I have a sister in a trigger state, 14 years old. I’m worried sick for her,” said 18-year-old protestor Zuzu Gherman-McCord. “I am a three-time rape survivor, I was born and raised here, my abusers are still here and unconvicted.”

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill today making California a safe haven for women who need abortions across the nation. 

Following this morning’s ruling, San Francisco Mayor London Breed outlined the city’s plan to preserve a woman’s right to choose, both for out-of-state and local residents.  

“San Francisco cannot correct national policy but we can ensure that those in this city are safe from anyone who wants to criminalize medical care and that we are working with the entire Bay Area to prepare for any impacts of this decision.” Breed said in a statement

Supervisors Matt Dorsey and Dean Preston,  Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Matt Haney also attended the protest to show support for San Francisco’s position as independent from the supreme court’s decision. 

“We’re going to take our country back,” Wiener said. “They’re trying to take our democracy.”