Boone protesters take stand for reproductive rights


Sam Byrd

Abortion rights demonstrators marching along King Street on June 25, 2022.

Zoey Sigmon, Reporter

App State students and Boone locals protested Saturday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in downtown Boone. 

The official overturn of Roe v. Wade occurred Friday, as five of the nine Supreme Court Justices voted in favor. Following this decision, the support or ban of abortion laws reciprocates to the state level, allowing all 50 states to create individual laws and specifications. Roe v. Wade, initially ruled in 1973, was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court declared a woman’s right to decisions surrounding abortion as a right to privacy.

Max Shook, a Boone local, organized Saturday’s protest. Shook said they believe protesting is the most effective way to raise awareness, support and understanding of this issue. Shook also said ensuring support as a community was of vital importance. 

“It is something that is super important to me, to be able to allow that privilege to everyone, not just those who are already privileged,” Shook said.  

The day after Roe v. Wade was overturned, demonstrators made their way through downtown Boone, protesting the new legislation. (Aldo Sabaria)

Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, suggested the Supreme Court reconsider cases covering additional rights after overturning Roe v. Wade including same-sex marriage and having access to contraceptives. The decisions affecting these rights have yet to be clarified as the repercussions take place.  

During Saturday’s protest, Caleb Baleanu, an App State junior, spoke on these potential issues.

Baleanu said conversations about these issues, specifically with men, would aid in understanding this decision and its aftermath. Baleanu said men commonly believe they are not affected by women’s rights, and changing this perspective would be beneficial as this issue affects everyone. 

“The fact that society, the government, thinks that they can control women and have any say in what a woman should do with her body really upsets me,” Baleanu said. “I’m also here for gay rights and contraceptive rights because those things are coming next and we’re going to see some dangerous, sad consequences.” 

With his sign held high, App state student Kolby Parker leads demonstrators in their march on June 25, 2022. (Sam Byrd)

Kolby Parker, a sophomore at App State and a leader of Saturday’s protest, named North Carolina an “epicenter of incoming underprivileged women” as the state is not one of the 13 states projected to ban abortion laws immediately. Parker also spoke of the importance of being heard, sharing and utilizing resources during this time. 

“As much as it’s about getting in people’s faces and helping them to understand and change their minds, it’s also about protecting the people that are being affected now,” Parker said.