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Syracuse Demonstrators Call To 'Keep Abortion Legal' Ahead Of SCOTUS Term

Syracuse demonstrators want the nation's highest court to ensure continued access to abortion.

An estimated 200 local participants this weekend rallied in support of reproductive rights ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court's term that begins Monday — the 2021 session includes a case challenging the landmark Roe v. Wade opinion. The Saturday march in downtown Syracuse was part of a national movement to stand up for a women's right to choose.

In Syracuse, participants came from Liverpool, Pompey and as far away as Oneida.

Syracuse march co-organizer Nada Odeh said the size of the event helped send a strong message.

“It's important for us in Syracuse to have a voice...," said Odeh, a community organizer. "We want to unite the community and make women feel safe.”

Speakers at the rally included State Assemblymember Pamela Hunter, who led the chant, "my body, my choice! Your body, your choice!" Demonstrators then stretched down East Genesee Street as the group made its way downtown for a rally at the federal building.

Sarah Young, a Syracuse resident, said she participated in the event to stand up for reproductive justice.

“Having access to contraceptive, neonatal and abortion care makes everyone safer," Young said. "Making sure we can do everything we can do everything safe pre- and post-conception helps everyone.”

The event also drew a small group of pro-life demonstrators. The counter protestors did not disrupt the rally but argued with a local doctor who identified as pro-choice. However they did not wish to speak with WAER. While the doctor told WAER they did not want to publicly identify themself of their place of work.

The debate over reproductive rights recently surged following a Texas law than bans the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court last month rejected an attempt to block the law from taking effect, but later this year will hear arguments regarding Mississippi's ban, in most cases, on abortions after 15 weeks.