HUDSON – A group of community members gathered in front of the Unitarian Church on Main Street in Hudson to hold a vigil hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last Friday.
In talking with the Community Advocate, attendees shared their reactions to the news.
“It shouldn’t be up to the government,” Macy Sharp said of the legality of abortion. “It should be up to each individual. There’s also so many different circumstances that it shouldn’t be up to anyone to decide.”
Roe v. Wade was a landmark case that protected the right to have an abortion. The court then voted 6-3 to overturn it last week, effectively allowing states to ban abortions within their borders.
“We’re here to create space for those who oppose that decision and who want to let Hudson – which is a pretty purple community – know that there’s people here who disapprove of that move and that we’re not going back,” organizer Ellen Church said of last Friday’s vigil.
The Hudson Democratic Town Committee voted to have a formal presence at the vigil that evening, according to Church who chairs the committee.
Sharp said she decided to come to the vigil because of “everything.”
She specifically noted Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion that the court should also reconsider a trio of cases involving contraceptives and same sex marriage.
“I want the government’s hands off my uterus, and I want the litigation out of my orientation,” Sharp said.
Last week’s decision prompted mixed reactions across the country, ranging from celebrations to widespread protests. Locally, there was a vigil for reproductive rights held in the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Westborough.
As local leaders shared their reactions in a series of statements, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order that formally protected access to reproductive health care services in Massachusetts.
“Massachusetts is a place where we want to maintain access to health services, including abortion rights and maintain bodily autonomy,” Church said, referencing Baker’s action.
Her message for Hudson and state officials is, “We won’t go back.”
“We want to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state so people can travel here, will feel here and that people who assist people who travel here will not be punished and will be encouraged to extend access to people,” Church said.