Prochoice protesters took to the Socorro Plaza Sunday morning. They protested the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain

Locals protested the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in the Socorro Plaza Sunday morning.

“The Fourth of July weekend is about independence and it’s about rights and freedoms and we don’t have those same rights and freedoms,” said Val Thomas, who helped organize the protest. “More than half the population doesn’t have those rights and freedoms now. We can’t cel­ebrate our independence when we are not independent and free.”

Protesters held signs reading “safe legal abortion is pro-life,” and “banning abortions only kills more people.” They also hung a line of hangers on a sign in the plaza.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, declaring the constitu­tional right to abortion no longer exists and allowing states to outlaw and further restrict abortion. New Mexico eliminated a 1969 trigger ban on abortion last year and abortion remains legal in the state.

Last week, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care services, protecting medical provid­ers from attempts at legal retribution and establishing that the state will not cooper­ate with extradition attempts from other states relating to receiving or performing reproductive services.

Damaris Perez drove from Magdalena to join Sunday’s protest. Perez said she was devastated by the Supreme Court deci­sion. Perez worked for Planned Parenthood in California for many years, and said she’s seen first hand the challenges women go through to access health care.

“Certainly we understand that a wom­an’s right to choose, a woman’s right to an abortion should be private and it should be a decision she makes with her family, her god and her doctor and nobody else should be involved in that decision, so I’m here to support women’s choice,” said Perez.

Sisters Tatyana and Ekaterina Makhnina came to show their support for abortion access.

“I think the fact that abortion, early stage or after rape or when there might be birth defects, the fact that that’s debatable is crazy, because I feel like that’s just a very basic thing that a woman should have and it just means that people are going to do it at home in a less safe way,” said Tatyana Makhnina.

Protestor Anjie Kendall said she became more prochoice after having a daughter. She came to the protest with her family to let other people in Socorro know that they’re not alone.

In October last year, Socorro’s Plaza was also filled with signs supporting abor­tion access during a reproductive rally in response to the Texas ban on abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected. The Supreme Court had declined to block the Texas measure, allowing it to go into effect last September.