With news coming Friday morning of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling, thus ending constitutional protections for abortion, Humboldt reproductive rights advocates moved quickly to organize a rally in response. 

Ultimately around 200 local supporters of abortion access gathered in front of the Humboldt County Courthouse Friday evening to wave signs and chant pro-abortion rights slogans to a continuous flow of supportive honks from passing motorists. A handful of speakers encouraged attendees to make donations to Planned Parenthood and to stay politically engaged going forward. 

The Lost Coast Outpost was on hand and snapped a few photos of the event.

“This is a justice issue,” said Deborah Haffner Hubbard of Clergy for Choice. “Because these draconian bans on abortion that are [poised to take effect] in 26 state are going to affect women of color and poor women most especially.”

Eureka City Councilmember Natalie Arroyo spoke about the emotions the day’s events had spurred in her. “It’s obvious that this [decision] affects many people and their individual health choices and their families and their well-being, but it also affects the way that we are knit together as a country in a way that I find really upsetting and very concerning. While I’m an elected official here in California where these rights are likely to be safe, I lived in Louisiana. I lived in Florida. I have loved ones all over this nation whose rights will not be safe.”

“We still have work to do here in California,” said Humboldt County Supervisor Mike Wilson who spoke of efforts to codify abortion rights into the California state constitution, while urging attendees to lobby their local officials to work to set a model the rest of the nation can follow to increase reproductive healthcare rights. “That means pushing your own local legislators and your own local politicians to push the legislation in California to make the changes that need to be made here in this state so that we can help push the nation forward.”

Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees.