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Protesters gather in downtown Grand Forks to show disapproval of Supreme Court ruling

On Sunday afternoon, people gathered on all four corners of the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Third Street in downtown Grand Forks with signs, flags and megaphones to show their disapproval for the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

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Protesters gathered at the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Third Street in downtown Grand Forks on Sunday, June 26, 2022, to show their disapproval of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Ingrid Harbo / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — Abortion-rights advocates took to the streets in Grand Forks on Sunday, June 26, to speak out against the Supreme Court’s Friday decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

On Sunday afternoon, people gathered on all four corners of the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Third Street in downtown Grand Forks. Over the afternoon, the crowd grew to around 300 people, according to Becky Ronkowski, who was in attendance. They used signs, flags and megaphones to show their disapproval of the ruling.

In North Dakota, abortion will become illegal after the Supreme Court’s ruling. In 2007, the state Legislature passed a law banning abortion in the state within 30 days if the Supreme Court ever changed its stance on abortion. Once implemented, the law will make it a Class C felony for anyone to perform an abortion, unless a pregnant woman performs an abortion on herself.

Lacy Lewandowski, at the protest with her daughter, Lakin, hoped to challenge people’s ideas of why some choose to get an abortion. She said her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, and would have needed an abortion if her body did not pass all of the remaining tissue in her uterus.

“A lot of people think of abortion as unwanted children that people chose to go get pregnant with. Sometimes those are very wanted babies that already have passed away and the procedure to finish the process is an abortion,” she said.

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Abortion-rights advocates have protested across the nation in the days since the Supreme Court decision — in some cases, thousands at a time. Meanwhile, some anti-abortion advocates have taken to the streets across the nation, too, celebrating the ruling.

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Lacy Lewandowski, with her daughter Lakin, attended a protest in downtown Grand Forks on Sunday, June 26, 2022, to challenge people's ideas about why women choose to get abortions.
Ingrid Harbo / Grand Forks Herald

Quentin Wilkie, an organizer of the rally and independent candidate running for the North Dakota House in District 17, said he organized the Grand Forks event to stand in solidarity with women and others affected by abortion becoming illegal in North Dakota and other states.

“It doesn't just affect women,” he said. “As far as reproductive justice concerns, everybody should be concerned, especially with Justice Thomas’ statement about contraception and also marriage equality.”

In a concurring opinion to the court’s decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the court “should reconsider” past rulings in the cases of Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right for married couples to purchase and use contraceptives without government restriction, Lawrence v. Texas, which established the right for adults to engage in same-sex intimacy and Obergefell v. Hodges, which allowed same-sex marriage.

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Deb Cooper and Jennifer Albert of Grand Forks said they were already downtown when they decided to participate in the pro-abortion rally on June 26.
Ingrid Harbo / Grand Forks Herald
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Related Topics: GRAND FORKSABORTION
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or iharbo@gfherald.com. Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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