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Protesters rally to protect abortion rights as Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade

Raging Grannies gather outside Palo Alto Whole Foods

Ruth Robertson, right, rallies a small crowd across the street from the downtown Palo Alto Whole Foods on Dec. 1, 2021 as part of a protest in favor of abortion rights. Photo by Zoe Morgan.

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn or substantially curtail Roe v. Wade, a small group gathered outside the downtown Palo Alto Whole Foods store on Wednesday afternoon to protest in favor of the legal right to have an abortion.

A little over a dozen people participated in the rally, held at 3 p.m. outside the 774 Emerson St. store. The event was spearheaded by the local chapter of the activist group Raging Grannies, and was part of a nationwide series of Strike for Choice protests.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. The case brings the potential that the court's conservative majority could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which found that there is a Constitutional right for women to have an abortion.

Raging Grannies organizer Ruth Robertson said she and other protesters turned out Wednesday because they couldn't "stand by idly" while the court considers rolling back abortion rights. Many members of the Raging Grannies remember a time before Roe, when abortion was illegal in many states.

"We know what our mothers and fathers feared," Robertson said. "Many of us know women who had illegal abortions. We don't want to go back there."

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The protest targeted Whole Foods because the company is headquartered in Texas, which has banned abortions after six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. Protesters also objected to what they characterized as Whole Foods' silence on the issue and past statements by its CEO that are critical of the Affordable Care Act. The company's press team did not respond to a request for comment before this news organization's press deadline.

Robertson said she hopes the protests prompt a response from Whole Foods, as well as raise awareness among its customers, who Robertson said are mostly women.

Protesters gather across the street from the downtown Palo Alto Whole Foods on Dec. 1, 2021 to protest in favor of abortion rights. Photo by Zoe Morgan.

Although the court is not expected to issue a ruling in the Mississippi case until June, Vara Ramakrishnan, one of the national organizers of the Strike for Choice protests, said public pressure on the Supreme Court justices is important ahead of their ruling.

"The time for us to act is now, not after the law changes," said Ramakrishnan, who attended Wednesday's rally in Palo Alto. "It's really critical."

The protesters largely gathered across the street from the Whole Foods store, carrying signs with slogans such as "Keep Abortion Legal" and "Whole Foods: Support the Women Who Support You." They sang songs and chanted, occasionally walking into the intersection.

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A Palo Alto police officer briefly arrived at the protest and went into the store. Some protesters stood in front of the police car with their signs. The officer left shortly afterward.

Karen Damian said she attended Wednesday's protest because it's important to "fight the good fight" and try to protect abortion rights.

"Women need to be in control of their own bodies," Damian said. "They don't need rules and men telling them how to behave, or what they should do or not do. I just think it's a travesty."

Protesters stand in front of a Palo Alto police car next to the downtown Palo Alto Whole Foods on Dec. 1, 2021 during a protest in favor of abortion rights. Photo by Zoe Morgan.

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Protesters rally to protect abortion rights as Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade

Raging Grannies gather outside Palo Alto Whole Foods

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 2, 2021, 9:53 am

With the Supreme Court poised to overturn or substantially curtail Roe v. Wade, a small group gathered outside the downtown Palo Alto Whole Foods store on Wednesday afternoon to protest in favor of the legal right to have an abortion.

A little over a dozen people participated in the rally, held at 3 p.m. outside the 774 Emerson St. store. The event was spearheaded by the local chapter of the activist group Raging Grannies, and was part of a nationwide series of Strike for Choice protests.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. The case brings the potential that the court's conservative majority could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which found that there is a Constitutional right for women to have an abortion.

Raging Grannies organizer Ruth Robertson said she and other protesters turned out Wednesday because they couldn't "stand by idly" while the court considers rolling back abortion rights. Many members of the Raging Grannies remember a time before Roe, when abortion was illegal in many states.

"We know what our mothers and fathers feared," Robertson said. "Many of us know women who had illegal abortions. We don't want to go back there."

The protest targeted Whole Foods because the company is headquartered in Texas, which has banned abortions after six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. Protesters also objected to what they characterized as Whole Foods' silence on the issue and past statements by its CEO that are critical of the Affordable Care Act. The company's press team did not respond to a request for comment before this news organization's press deadline.

Robertson said she hopes the protests prompt a response from Whole Foods, as well as raise awareness among its customers, who Robertson said are mostly women.

Although the court is not expected to issue a ruling in the Mississippi case until June, Vara Ramakrishnan, one of the national organizers of the Strike for Choice protests, said public pressure on the Supreme Court justices is important ahead of their ruling.

"The time for us to act is now, not after the law changes," said Ramakrishnan, who attended Wednesday's rally in Palo Alto. "It's really critical."

The protesters largely gathered across the street from the Whole Foods store, carrying signs with slogans such as "Keep Abortion Legal" and "Whole Foods: Support the Women Who Support You." They sang songs and chanted, occasionally walking into the intersection.

A Palo Alto police officer briefly arrived at the protest and went into the store. Some protesters stood in front of the police car with their signs. The officer left shortly afterward.

Karen Damian said she attended Wednesday's protest because it's important to "fight the good fight" and try to protect abortion rights.

"Women need to be in control of their own bodies," Damian said. "They don't need rules and men telling them how to behave, or what they should do or not do. I just think it's a travesty."

Comments

rhody
Registered user
Barron Park
on Dec 2, 2021 at 11:03 am
rhody, Barron Park
Registered user
on Dec 2, 2021 at 11:03 am

I would like to respond to Raging Grannies, but you did NOT include contact information for that organization.


maguro_01
Registered user
Mountain View
on Dec 3, 2021 at 3:08 pm
maguro_01, Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2021 at 3:08 pm

There are a few sincere people in the anti- movement. However, the real object of it, especially in Texas and some other states, is the status of women (half the population). In many states, still in living memory, women were chattel property of men - fathers, then husbands. In rural areas, especially, there are still many politically active people who believe that an ideal society and will work tirelessly for it. The abortion fight - the status of women fight - is just one of the cultural differences that make uncertain the possibility that the US can go forward as a single country.

Anti-s may be a decided minority in the US today, but our organization as states and a Republic, and a basically for sale political system, make fission very possible unfortunately. Women in some religious/cultural groups may see their status as safety. But without a legal backdrop around them that safety can prove a disastrous illusion. The status of women cannot be a bargaining chip. Many women today, even executives, take their legal status for granted. They should not.


Bob M.
Registered user
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Dec 3, 2021 at 8:20 pm
Bob M., Greendell/Walnut Grove
Registered user
on Dec 3, 2021 at 8:20 pm

On the same day that those dozen Raging Grannies were preaching to a handful of sympathetic Palo Altans outside Whole Foods, five other Palo Alto residents were presenting a pro-life message on a pedestrian overpass above the morning commute traffic on Hwy 101. Our large banner displayed this blunt and honest message: "Abortion takes a human life." Unlike the Grannies, we didn't get a sympathetic write-up and a pair of photos in the local press, but based on actual timed traffic samples, our message was seen by over 14,000 motorists between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM. We'll take that trade-off any day. If the Grannies are serious about perpetuating Roe v. Wade's permission for mothers to destroy their unborn children — a permission that has already cost the lives of 63 million such children since 1973 — they've gotta up their game. A lot.

They could start by leaving those goofy costumes at home.


Mary G
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:44 am
Mary G, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2021 at 2:44 am

To anti-abortion writer: You didn’t tell us name of your group. Please share it. Do
You have name recognition
Like Raging Grannies? The Grannies point was to tell Whole Food shoppers to join the fight to protect Roe v. Wade. Also to call out the company for failing to speak up for their customers most of whom are women who believe in protecting reproductive healthcare.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2021 at 11:27 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 6, 2021 at 11:27 am

The arguments for and against abortion are divisive. However, people on both sides of the discussion should be able to discuss this in a polite manner.

It is true to say that the media, in particular the local media, are way too supportive of abortion proponents and rarely give a balanced view on those who support life.

I agree that nobody goes into a protest specifically for the publicity, but it would seem fair if the media covers both sides as well as allowing for meaningful polite discussion rather than name calling and supposition of motives.

Reproductive healthcare is a term that both those who support abortion and also those who support life use. Of course reproductive healthcare is important, understanding what is happening inside the body of a pregnant woman is paramount to being able to make informed choices.


Granny B
Registered user
Midtown
on Dec 9, 2021 at 6:28 am
Granny B, Midtown
Registered user
on Dec 9, 2021 at 6:28 am

There is no real reproductive healthcare without access to abortion, on demand and without apology.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 9, 2021 at 9:06 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 9, 2021 at 9:06 am

Granny B has a good point, especially because an increasing number of the anti-abortion / forced birth crowd mot only wants to ban abortion as most define it but also regular old birth control because it too prevents pregnancy even in the case of rape and incest.

How about penalizing the rapists instead of women having miscarriages?

Who wants to take morality lessons from a crowd that glorifies the Duggar family simply because they'd birthed a huge number of children, including child molesters.


Peter Maldonado
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Dec 9, 2021 at 2:08 pm
Peter Maldonado, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Dec 9, 2021 at 2:08 pm

Justice Amy Barrett Coney was cited as saying there is no need for abortion because adoption agencies can easily care for the newborn infants and source permanent adoptive homes for them.

And Justice Brett Kavanaugh believes that abortion rights are not a viable Supreme Court issue as abortion guidelines and timelines should be left up to the individual states.

Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch are Constitutional originalists and will undoubtedly support a state's rights position in this matter.

In the long run, we must accept and abide by the various decisions we have entrusted the Supreme Court to make.

They have not always been just decisions (like the Dred Scott Case and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II) but this is only the option we have if we wish to remain a democracy of majority rule.




Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Dec 9, 2021 at 3:51 pm

I think the term reproductive healthcare should cover all aspects of pregnancy.

There are many articles which state that lower income women receive much poorer healthcare during pregnancy, with more spontaneous miscarriages, more still births, lower birth weights as well as more serious complications during birth including deformities and similar types of problems. Many insurances don't offer coverage until third trimester and often by this time the problems have already happened and it is too late to make any real change to help the baby.

Reproductive health has to start with education in high school about what happens during pregnancy, how smoking, drugs, alcohol are bad for the baby's development and healthy eating and lifestyle are necessary. If you want to talk about reproductive health, then making healthier pregnancies are part of the discussion.


SteveDabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 11, 2021 at 2:22 pm
SteveDabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Dec 11, 2021 at 2:22 pm

I wonder how many of the protesters sat out the 2016 election because they "just couldn't vote for Hillary". Elections matter.


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