“I was numb”: Community members react to overturning of Roe v. Wade

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Dozens are planning to gather in front of the Craighead County Courthouse following the overturning of a long-running abortion rights decision.

Protesters already gathered a month earlier to show their support for women’s rights when the opinion decision for Roe v. Wade was leaked.

This time, however, the rally means something different: People will gather against what they all hoped would not happen.

“My first thought was that I was numb,” said Sarah Ellzey, a member of the Collective Alliance Network.

“Numb” was the feeling some had at the announcement of Roe v. Wade being overturned on Friday.

“Takes the concern to a whole new level of where is our country headed and at what point is the government going to continue reaching into the personal lives of people,” Ellzey said.

The Collective Alliance Network network is a group that advocates for other groups underserved or unheard.

Ellzey said she feels the role of law has gone too far.

“Honestly, with government overreach into the communities and women’s bodies that should be making these decisions,” she said.

Jon Newman dives into law and policy topics with his students. He is the lead director for the Business, Art, and Law Academy within the Jonesboro Public Schools and teacher AP Government.

Newman said there are so many unknowns with the recent announcement, but he’s glad to explain everything from both sides to his students.

Newman participated in the Supreme Court Summer Institute. He was able to study recent Supreme Court cases, like Roe v. Wade.

“There are going to be questions and confusion that we are going to have to find in the court system,” he said. “Can the state legislature do anything to limit a woman’s right to be able to travel to another state? Can they do anything to stop contraceptives from coming into the state?”

Newman said these are unprecedented times, and his students are in the position to learn more about how policies are changing.

“Not to show favoritism one way or the other, but for students, to be able to interpret what is and isn’t allowed per article two of what a President can and can not do with an executive order. What the Supreme Court can do as far as judicial restraint,” he said.

Ellzey noted having so many unknowns directly affecting people is unacceptable. She added there should have been more thought into the impact of the overturn.

“It would have been nice to have some trigger laws in the books regarding maternal care, child care, psychological care for women who have been forced to continue with a pregnancy,” she said.

Ellzey said her thoughts go to the women’s lives that could now be in danger if they become pregnant.

She added the network would continue to let their voices be heard about the issues impacting women.

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