Residents of Athens gathered outside the Athens County Courthouse on Sunday for a protest in support of reproductive rights following the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion in favor of overturning the Roe v. Wade decision.
Individuals and organizations came together to plan the protest, which took place at 2 p.m.
Regan Neviska, an Ohio University graduate student studying art history, was one of the people to help plan the protest.
“A couple of people on Instagram were posting and asking if there was anything going on,” Neviska said. “We didn't know of anything going on; we (thought we) ought to plan something and then we just got together last weekend and decided it would be this weekend.”
Neviska said organizations such as the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program and Food Not Bombs made donations.
The event consisted of multiple speakers, including Milena Miller, an Athens resident. Miller spoke about her experiences with reproductive rights.
“Young women were facing terrible choices and were having to give up their children and place them up for adoption,” Miller said. “We don't want to go back to these policies. I don't want my granddaughter to ever have to face any of these terrible things.”
After gathering outside of the Athens County Courthouse, protesters marched to the graffiti wall located off Richland Avenue. Upon reaching the graffiti wall, people were invited to speak and write messages in support of reproductive rights on the wall.
An Athens resident, Andrea Reik, spoke on the importance of the upcoming election in November.
“Do not stay home this election,” Reik said. “Do your homework, get out and vote.”
Neviska said the main goal of the protest was to inform people of the necessity of reproductive rights.
“Abortion is health care … it's our human right,” Neviska said. “We're not going to stand and let the Supreme Court roll over us and take away our rights.”
Correction appended: A previous version of this article stated that Neviska said "Women Have Options Ohio, an organization that provides abortion services, helped coordinate the event" and "Women Have Options Ohio has eight locations in urban and major cities in Ohio, and it currently costs about $500 to have an abortion,“ when Women Have Options Ohio did not help coordinate the event, are not a healthcare provider and do not have any physical locations within the state. This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.