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Hampton Roads locals share passionate responses to SCOTUS ruling on Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn federal protections on abortion.

VIRGINIA, USA — The high court's historic ruling won't trigger immediate changes in Virginia. It's still legal for women to seek an abortion in the Commonwealth until around 25 weeks.

However, many abortion rights supporters are staying on high alert. Pro-life advocates have expressed they're ready to help enact new legislation.

The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade strikes a chord for people passionately standing on each side of the debate. Now that it's up to each state to decide on abortion access, pro-life and pro-abortion advocates in Virginia are sounding off.

Pro-abortion demonstrations popped up in some parts of the country, including Richmond on Friday. 

"All people are created with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are God-given rights. They belong equally to every person," said Jeff Caruso, executive director of Virginia Catholic Conference

"It's one thing to have to go through making a serious health care decision. It's another thing to do that when you're being told by everyone around you that you don't deserve to make that choice yourself," said Sara Resnick, director of operations for Hampton Roads Reproductive Justice League.  

Resnick said the ruling doesn’t change what they do. "We're still out here providing practical and financial support to people who need abortion services."

In fact, she said that the league is already helping an influx of people, especially from other states. 

Resnick mentioned an alliance of reproductive justice organizations will hold a rally at Lafayette Park in Norfolk from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26. She said the event, among other things, will feature storytelling and resources.

On Facebook Friday morning, the president of Crisis Pregnancy of Tidewater wrote that he's rejoicing about the overturn. However, he expressed lament by the fact women can still have an abortion in Virginia today.

Known pro-life advocate, Gov. Glenn Youngkin has called on lawmakers to change the Commonwealth's abortion laws. He intends to seek a 15-week threshold, according to a spokesperson. 

Back with Caruso, he said one of his group's next steps will include working closely with lawmakers, advocates and other organizations.

"To enact laws that would protect life and ensure a compassionate care and support. Our two dioceses certainly provide vital assistance to women who are experiencing crisis pregnancies," said Caruso. "Two examples of that would be Catholic Charities, as well as Hope 4 Life, which is a Portsmouth-based organization."

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