DAVENPORT, Iowa — Three days after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion rights activists in the Quad Cities continue to protest.
Hundreds of people gathered at Vander Veer Park in Davenport on Sunday, June 26.
"This is my third rally in three days," said Rock Island resident Karen Westmoreland. "Our legal rights were taken away, a right to a safe abortion, which is absolutely health care. It is vital to women's health to be able to have this right."
Most of the protest attendees carried signs, including Bettendorf resident Kris Albert who said, "Back to the dark ages... 50 years of freedom gone."
"I think it was a terrible injustice to women," Albert said. "50 years ago when abortion was illegal, it was the dark ages, women went to back alleys, birth control was hard to get if a teen wanted birth control it was next to impossible."
The protest lasted around an hour, beginning with several people giving speeches at the park encouraging people to vote in the Illinois primary on Tuesday and this November in the Midterm Election.
"I think for most Iowans, the events of Friday were devastating," said Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken who helped coordinate Sunday's protest. "The horrific, backward, inexplicable decision by the Supreme Court to try to turn the clock back was so upsetting to people that I think a lot of us were numb by the end of the day. My purpose was to get people back together again and re-energized. The courts cannot deny our reproductive freedoms."
Following the speakers, the protest turned into a march around the park down Harrison, Lombard and Brady streets with dozens of cars honking their horns in support.
Both Albert and Westmoreland hope protests like this one will encourage people to vote for lawmakers who will protect abortion rights.
Currently, abortions are still legal in both Iowa and Illinois.
However, on June 17, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled abortion is not a fundamental right in the state, clearing the way for state lawmakers to further limit or ban abortion. It reversed a decision made by the court four years ago that guaranteed the right to the procedure under the Iowa constitution.