ST. LOUIS — Crowds gathered outside the Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Avenue Friday after the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
People from all sides of the issue of abortion started engaging each other.
At one point, opposing sides began to start an argument outside the gates of Planned Parenthood. Many of them, no matter their opinion, said this Friday’s news brought them to tears.
One of the protesters held a sign that said, “Abortion is Health Care.”
“I cried. It’s devastating. I’ve lived my whole life in a country where this reproductive right was granted to me, and to have that taken away is devastating,” said Andrea Scarpino.
Mary Maschmeier held a “Choose Life” sign.
“When I first heard it this morning, I cried. I thought now, after all these years, 60-plus million children dead, and here we are,” said Maschmeier. I thought I would never see this day.”
Many said they woke up this morning with other plans and then decided they needed to be at the protest.
Brittany Nickens held a sign saying, “Protect Safe Legal Abortion.”
“It was my day off, and I woke up to my little sister calling me hysterical, saying, ‘Have you seen the news. Have you seen the news it happened.’ Nickens continued, “And I just didn’t know where to go, so I came here.”
Kendyl Underwood’s sign said, “I Stand with Planned Parenthood.”
“I was at the gym, and I threw what I was holding. I was very upset,” said Underwood. “My teammates and my friends, and my roommates all called me crying. It’s just gut-wrenching.”
People with opposing opinions said they’ve stood at this Planned Parenthood entrance before in protest. Now, they said their mission has changed.
“It’s the beginning of a new way of helping women,” said Maria Thompson. “It’s a way of helping women through what they need, not in helping them get rid of a child, but to support them in every aspect of their lives.”
“I’m thrilled that it is no longer legal in Missouri to destroy women’s lives,” said Steven Sallwasser. “Yes, it’s a travesty that we’re killing children, but it destroys women as well.” He added, “I believe the battle has finally begun. Now, we have to convert people like this lady standing on the street corner.”
Legal analyst Chet Pleban said arguments will continue in court. He thinks Friday’s decision will change how the courts handle precedent.
“I think this is a precursor. I think Roe is not just about abortion,” said Pleban. “I think it’s a precursor by this conservative court from giving more power to the states to make these kinds of decisions.”