Group walks out in protest of looming Supreme Court decision to revoke Roe v Wade


Taylor Ross

Freshman Lizzy Bailey was one of about 70 students who walked out of class Thursday to protest the Supreme Court’s looming decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

A group of students left class on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. to protest the Supreme Court’s pending decision to revoke Roe v. Wade, the 49-year-old case that protects the right to abortion. 

Similar walkouts have occurred at high schools nationwide after a draft of the court’s decision was leaked earlier this month. A Forest Scout story highlighted some of the confusion and frustration that followed the document’s premature release. 

Students who participated in the walk-out gathered on the front lawn of the school facing N. McKinley Road. They held signs that read “Laws off our bodies” and “Bodily autonomy is a human right.” 

Junior Ashley Keim was at the forefront of the walkout, organizing and promoting the demonstration.

“I organized the walkout because reproductive rights are something that I’ve felt strongly about for a long time,” Keim said. “Bodily Autonomy is a fundamental human right, and I’m tired of people telling me what I’m allowed to do with my body based on their personal beliefs that have no place in healthcare and how other people choose to conduct their lives.”

Junior Grace Thomas also participated in the walkout and said she wanted to take a stand, even if it is on a small-scale.

“I chose to walk out because I know that as teenagers there’s not always a lot we can do to make change in politics and social issues, but doing small things like this is a way to raise our voice and make small change towards a big issue,” Thomas said. “I believe that women should have the right to an abortion because there are so many people out there who can’t afford to give birth or can’t give birth for medical reasons, and for tons of other reasons, we need to protect these women. 

A small group of boys walked out to counter the original demonstration. 

One held a sign that said “Repeal the 19th amendment,” referring to the legislation that guarantees women the right to vote. 

Junior Noah Karr observed the walkout closer to the school where some counter-protestors gathered. He said his stance is “a bit of both sides.”

“I believe abortion is technically murder because doesn’t the child have the right to live, just as much as the mother has to take its life?” Karr said. “But at the same time, I am a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose with her own body. I also believe a man has a say in the baby as well. It takes two to create a life, not one.”

He said he acknowledges the contradictory nature of his beliefs, but regardless of his own stance on the issue, he is glad both groups were able to express their views.

“Despite it being a controversial and sensitive topic with many feelings and opinions surrounding it, I think it wonderful that we live in a day and age where anyone can express their voice, individually or as a group,” he said.

Junior Shaya Iona said the counter-protestors were “unsettling,” and it didn’t seem like they were there to respectfully express their opinion.

“They were threatening and condescending and used words that were dismissive and mocking,” Iona said. “The counter-protesters made me feel disappointed and disillusioned with the world.”