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Demonstrators rally in Syracuse as Roe v. Wade appears under threat

Groups gathered to march from planned parenthood on E. Genesee St. to the Federal Building in Downtown Syracuse
Miles Hood
miles Hood
Groups gathered to march from planned parenthood on E. Genesee St. to the Federal Building in Downtown Syracuse

Across the nation, advocates for women's reproductive rights are responding to a report that the nation's highest court may be planning to reverse a landmark decision that ensures abortion access.

A leaked draft Supreme Court opinion published by Politico late Monday shows the justices intend to strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which would allow individual states to limit or block access to abortions. But the decision has not been finalized.

Ahead of a Tuesday evening demonstration at the Syracuse federal building, Nada Odeh of Women's March Syracuse said she wants the Supreme Court to know the community is opposed to overturning the Roe decision.

We want to make sure our voice is heard, that we exist in small cities like Syracuse and we don’t accept anything that controls us as human beings," Odeh, who organized the local demonstration, said.

If the Supreme Court upholds the draft opinion, states would have the right to limit or completely ban abortions. Odeh said that pushed her to join other women’s march groups across the country that were protesting at federal buildings around the U.S.

"Its kind of very funny because we're in the 21st century and women should have the right to control their bodies, and it's very upsetting and disturbing," Odeh said.

However, Gov. Kathy Huchul said New York will continue to protect a woman’s right to choose. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the percentage of women traveling to New York for an abortion has increased over the last decade.

Local OBGYN Renee Mestad said she’s seen an influx of these out-of-state patients, especially after a neighboring state attempted to pass a law that would block abortion after a fetal heartbeat could be detected.

"While it never went into effect, our colleagues in Rochester and Buffalo were seeing women coming from Ohio. I started working at the southern tier clinic in March and right before then they had at least one woman from Texas," Mestad said.

A final decision from the Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade is expected this summer while another demonstration is planned in Syracuse on Friday.