See the pictures: People protesting abortion ruling gather at federal courthouse in Gulfport

·1 min read
Hannah Ruhoff/hruhoff@sunherald.com

Around 25 local protesters stood out in nearly 100 degree heat Friday afternoon to voice their objections to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn access to abortion.

The Mississippi Rising Coalition, a local community activist group focused on social justice causes, held an improptu protest in support of abortion rights outside the Dan M. Russell Jr. Federal Courthouse in Gulfport after the court opinion was released earlier in the day.

Friday morning the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on case — Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health — that upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, effectively overturning the case that set the precedent — Roe vs Wade — and gave states the ability to choose weather to allow abortion or not.

Some protesters felt they needed some way to vent their frustrations at the situation.

Pricilla Powe, a registered nurse, said Friday was her first ever protest.

“As a nurse I understand the importance of bodily autonomy,” Powe said. “I have daughters and I worry about the choices they’ll have. I can’t think of another instance where we decide health care for others.”

Powe said she has provided care for patients who had botched abortions. “The trauma and the human suffering that you witness, it changes you as a person,” she said.

Another protester, Gulfport resident Beth Cates, said people in Mississippi are afraid to discuss the issue of abortion. “I had a genuine fear to even come out here,” she said.

Similar protests were recorded nationwide.