Protesters say SCOTUS decision gives them nothing to celebrate on Independence Day

As some people celebrated July 4, others protested the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs. Wade at Legislative Plaza saying there’s nothing to celebrate today.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 7:15 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - As some people celebrated July 4, others protested the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs. Wade at Legislative Plaza saying there’s nothing to celebrate on this day.

The morning protest was the first of two scheduled on Independence Day. A second protest began at 5 p.m.

Protesters at the 10 a.m. rally said they can’t celebrate freedom this July 4 when not everyone has all their freedoms, specifically women.

“It’s just frustrating for all women today,” Emme Craeger, one of the protesters, said.

A frustration that showed itself in several forms at Monday’s protest including a moment the crowd let out a collective scream.

“It’s very frustrating. Feels like a war on women because everyone keeps talking that it’s God’s will if your pregnant and have a baby. So why is Viagra not God’s will? Why can you still get resources to have sex to impregnate women, and then we don’t have the resources for women to do the right thing about that if she can’t afford or have the resources to take care of the baby,” Craeger said.

“It breaks my heart in every single way. It breaks my heart. It hurts. It’s deafening,” Marlene, a U.S. veteran at the protest, said.

Many in the crowd held signs, some with the message on their bodies, like Marlene, who had a palm print on her neck.

“In my opinion, it’s the government that needs to keep their hands off our throat because that’s what it is. That’s what it is right now. They are strangling women’s rights,” Marlene said.

She is baffled at the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“I way lucky enough to not get deployed to a combat zone, but I have had very close friends die for this country,” Marlene said. “The ones who did come home like me, I came home and I step foot in this country that I’m supposed to fight for, that I signed a contract to die for, and our rights are getting trampled on by the government constantly.”

“I don’t think parenthood is something you should enter into lightly. It’s a life and ultimately what is more important? A life that is outside the womb in our schools? In our overwhelmed foster care system? Or a life that is theoretical inside someone’s body? Hannah Fletcher-Page, mother of a 3-year-old attending the protest, said.

For Craeger, a college student, the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling was personal.

“Unfortunately, I was a victim of rape and now that Roe v. Wade is overturned,” Craeger said. “Because my body was already violated once, and I don’t think I should be forced to have a pregnancy if I end up pregnant form that and be violated again and have my rights taken away.”

“I see how children who don’t have a strong community and a strong support. I see mothers who aren’t prepared who don’t know how to become a mother. Our state is not helping us with that,” Fletcher-Page said. “We don’t support women in their health. We don’t support parents.”

Advocates for Planned Parenthood encouraged the crowd to take action, like getting involved in the November election.

But on July 4, protesters were intentional about taking action today.

“Because I do not think I can celebrate America’s birthday and celebrate freedom while women are not free in their choices with their bodies right now,” Craeger said.

Nashville Councilman Bob Mendes was at the Monday morning protest and spoke to the crowd.

He told WSMV4 on Tuesday that Metro Council will be voting on a non-binding resolution asking Metro Police to have abortion be the lowest priority in the city. He said they want people to know Nashville will be a place where abortion laws are not aggressively enforced.

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