More than 100 people gathered on the corner of State and Main streets in Doylestown to add their voices to hundreds of rallies held across the country protesting recent legislation severely restricting a woman’s right to an abortion.
As speakers took to the podium to decry threats to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing the right to abortion, several protestors said they can’t understand some states’ efforts to effectively ban the procedure.
“It’s stupid that they have the audacity to say we can’t do what we think is best with our bodies,” said one teenager. Babies from unwanted pregnancies “are put in foster care or abused,” said another teen.
State Sen. Steve Santarsieo (D-10) addressed the enthusiastic crowd, saying the rally is “sending a message that we’re not going backward. This is not 1973 – it’s 2019 and we won’t go back.”
State Rep. Wendy Ullman (D-145) lent her support to the rally, as well.
She told a story about a young woman who self-aborted a fetus and nearly bled to death. “This is what happens when a woman is desperate,” she said.
Ullman also recalled driving a woman to Canada to have an abortion.
This woman, said the legislator, could do that because she was a “woman of means.” Should Roe v. Wade “fall,” this is what will happen again, said Ullman. “Only women who can pay the price will be able to get an abortion.”
The father of three daughters and two granddaughters, David Zemach-Bersin, of Doylestown, carried a sign reading, “Calling All Good Men: Stand Up For Your Sisters, Daughters and Wives.” “Every woman should have the right to decide her future,” he said.
Kaethe Zemach-Bersin, David’s wife, added, “If men got pregnant, there would be clinics everywhere.”
Twenty-three-year-old Matt Pfeifferr, of Plumstead, said the country is heading in the wrong direction. “We are seeing this trend in politics, where the wrong people are seizing control of things that we should have control over.”
“We can’t rest,” said Santasiero, “the people who want to take our rights away don’t rest.”
Chanting, “Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate,” the demonstrators were largely met with support from passersby, who honked their horns and offered a thumbs-up. A couple of drivers, however, objected, shouting negative comments.