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Hundreds of Virginia students take part in walkouts to support abortion access

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Across Virginia, hundreds of students made posters and walked out of class to show their support for abortion access one week after a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court looks to overturn Roe v. Wade.

On Monday, students from nearly 50 schools across the state participated in these walkouts, including those in the Richmond area.

In front of Midlothian High School, a group of students held up signs and chanted as they marched around the school to support reproductive rights. Dozens also took part in similar walkouts at Clover Hill High School and Henrico High School.

The call to action comes from Generation Ratify Virginia, who organized this statewide student day of action.

“We believe it is necessary that people have the right over their own bodies,” said Abby Garber, state director of Generation Ratify Virginia. “What we’re seeing here is government interference and I believe that the government should not interfere. I believe that we are guaranteed the right to privacy.”

These walkouts come as thousands across the country make their voices heard about abortion access in light of the leaked draft opinion.

As students voice their opposition to overturning Roe v. Wade, others in the community are hopeful this will be the ultimate decision from the Supreme Court.

“We’re cautiously optimistic. This is obviously a draft. We are not yet at a final opinion, but we do believe the court is in the right direction,” said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation. “We believe that every human life should be protected.”

Cobb believes the court is working to protect human life and the draft opinion is the direction the nation needs to go towards.

“We see a color ultrasound with a live heartbeat and we actually see them retracting from pain,” Cobb said. “This is just simply a court that’s recognizing, yeah we recognize that’s human life, and we ought to have that conversation at the state level.”

However, Garber disagrees and believes reproductive rights should be protected.

“Every person has the right to healthcare because abortion is healthcare and people with uteruses deserve to have autonomy over their body and deserve to have full freedoms and deserve to be treated as equals,” she said.

A spokesperson for Attorney General Jason Miyares sent NBC12 the following statement:

“Everyone has the right to respectfully and peacefully protest in America, but schools also have the right to administer consequences for missing class.”

On Wednesday, lawmakers from the Senate are expected to vote on a bill that would codify abortion rights in federal law. A final decision from the Supreme Court is expected this summer.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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