Protest in Perryville


Editor's Note: To see more images of the protest, view the photo gallery, in the photo section.

In a historic and far-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade on June 24th, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion, upheld for nearly a half century, no longer exists.
Justice Samuel Alito, speaking for the court majority, said that the 1973 Roe ruling and repeated subsequent high court decisions reaffirming Roe “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”
Immediately following the Supreme Court ruling Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt signed a proclamation banning abortions in Missouri. The state has a “trigger law,” meaning abortion would be abolished with a proclamation from the Governor or Attorney General.
Governor Mike Parson signed a proclamation giving legal effect to Section 188.017 RSMo and activating the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act” and stated, “Nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the United States Constitution gave un-elected federal judges authority to regulate abortion. We are happy that the U.S. Supreme Court has corrected this error and returned power to the people and the states to make these decisions.” 
“Thanks to decades of conservative leaders, Missouri has become one of the most pro-life states in the nation, and our Administration has always fought for the life of every unborn child. Today, our efforts have produced what generations of Missourians have worked and prayed for: Today, we have won our fight to protect innocent life,” Governor Parson continued.
President Joe Biden responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling stating, “it’s a sad day for the court and the country.”
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people that it had already recognized. They didn’t limit it.  They simply took it away.  That’s never been done to a right so important to so many Americans.
But they did it.  And it’s a sad day for the Court and for the country.
I believe Roe v. Wade was the correct decision as a matter of constitutional law, an application of the fundamental right to privacy and liberty in matters of family and personal autonomy.
Make no mistake: This decision is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law.  It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view. The Court has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized. The Court’s decision to do so will have real and immediate consequences.  State laws banning abortion are automatically taking effect today, jeopardizing the health of millions of women, some without exceptions. 
This a sad day for the country, in my view, but it doesn’t mean the fight is over.
Locals, Bea Brooks and Kennedy Huett, who were angry and frustrated over the reversal decided to take action. They organized a protest on the square on Friday, July 8th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“Women across the country are angry their rights are being taken away,” Brooks said. “We want the protest to be peaceful, but we also want it to be angry and be loud. We want to demonstrate that our passion is our power.”
Huett said she would like to change some people’s minds. “Even if one person changes their mind, I would consider it a success.”
Several dozen people participated in the protest including candidate for Senate Jewel Kelly and congressional candidate Randi McCallian who reiterated during speeches, Biden’s call to voters to make their voices heard.
Many of the people in attendance were from neighboring towns including, Farmington, Cape Girardeau and even Prairie Du Rocher. Taylor Pensoneaw of Prairie Du Rocher said she heard about the event on Facebook and came out to protest because she wants the government to “treat us like we are people.”
They were a handful of counter protestors who attended. One group, who could be deemed Switzerland, wore Pro Love t-shirts representing an organization called Embrace. They support and council women during their pregnancy journey despite the final outcome.
Law enforcement from both the County and the City were present and managed to keep the protest peaceful despite a few tense moments.
Since the protest, President Biden signed an Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services. This Executive Order builds on the actions his Administration has already taken to defend reproductive rights by:
Safeguarding access to reproductive health care services, including abortion and contraception;
Protecting the privacy of patients and their access to accurate information;
Promoting the safety and security of patients, providers, and clinics; and
Coordinating the implementation of Federal efforts to protect reproductive rights and access to health care.
There have been over fifty years of discussion on the matter and it seems it shall continue.


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