Naperville residents gather to protest Dobbs v. Jackson decision


Jay Deegan

Various residents participating during the protest on June 24 by the intersection of Washington Street and Aurora Avenue.

Jay Deegan, Staff Writer

Over 100 people gathered in Downtown Naperville on June 24 to protest the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling that was announced earlier that day. The protest took place near the intersection of Washington Street and Aurora Avenue.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization allows states to determine abortion laws and regulations, while also overturning previous precedent like Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

“Seven hours ago, I was at a different protest in front of the Supreme Court,” U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois’ 11th District said. “About 40 members of Congress thought we should make our voices heard, so we walked over and we joined the group who were protesting the decision.”

The protest was planned by the League of Women Voters Naperville, the National Council of Jewish Women, Naperville NOW and the American Association of University Women.

“We’re here to band together and to grieve a little bit but also to show a lot of determination that we want to go forward here in Illinois,” said Jill Lexier, a protest organizer and a member of the National Council of Jewish Women. “Our rights are protected and we want to keep them that way. We’d love to be able to expand those rights to every person in this country.”

A few of the participants of the protest were students at Naperville Central.

“I would like to see more government officials recognizing the impact that that’s going to have on especially young adults today,” Central rising sophomore Nina Rao said. “I think that the teens here, or the teens that are going to hear about this, the impact that it’s going to have on them is such an immense one. I’d love to see more recognition.”

Protesters throughout the event participated in ways such as chanting and bringing signs and banners.

“It’s a representation of how many people truly care about women having access to abortions and to just basic reproductive rights,” Rao said. “I think it’s a really good example of how a community can bind together when we know that the actions of the people in power are not right or they’re not what should be done.”

Participants throughout the event were emotional due to the ramifications of the decision.

“It’s heartbreaking to see that we’re backtracking on all of the progress that we’ve made as a society,” Rao said. “I really hope that there are government officials and there are people in power who are going to see this as a mistake and they are going to try and do something that will replace Roe v. Wade and give women their reproductive rights back.”