Abortion rights activists fight for Roe v. Wade in downtown rally


Cameron Rozek

Protestors gather outside the Kroehler YMCA on Washington Street after Samuel Alito’s majority opinion draft.

Cameron Rozek, Editor-in-Chief & Head News Editor

A group of abortion rights activists gathered outside the old Kroehler YMCA on Washington Street on May 8. They staged a rally with just over 50 attendees defending abortion rights. 

The protest was organized on Facebook in the group “Naperville Supporter of Reproductive Freedom,” created by Rachel Ceballos. Like many Americans in recent weeks, members of the group expressed outrage about the recently-leaked Supreme Court documents detailing the potential overturning of the landmark case Roe v. Wade. 

Laura Welch, president of the Illinois National Organization for Women, decided to attend the rally after seeing it in her Facebook feed. She said she wants to educate people about the reasoning and importance of abortions to many. 

“People don’t realize that there are many reasons why a person wants to discontinue a pregnancy,” Welch said. “It’s the health of the mother but it’s also economics. They have to carry that child and may never get a good job.”

Abortion has been a helpful avenue for Welch herself and could help other young women who can’t yet support a child. 

“So many people don’t realize why abortion is necessary,” she said. “It’s nobody’s business. It is nobody else’s business.”

Welch was joined by many other men and women alike who held signs and chanted phrases such as “they say no choice, we say pro choice” and “not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate.”

Naperville Central senior Anusha Kumar also attended the rally. She originally wanted to attend the rally in downtown Chicago, but had a schedule conflict. 

“We are a group of pro-choice individuals who are fighting to ensure that women and people with uteruses retain the right to abortion,” Kumar said.

Abortion is currently legal in all 50 states. However, many states, usually with Republican majorities, retain trigger laws that allow abortion restrictions to be put in place if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Kumar said she wants to stop laws like this from changing the status quo. 

“There’s really not much at this point we can do other than vote for legislators who can help to encode Roe v. Wade into law,” Kumar said. “It just can’t be overturned with a Supreme Court case.”