LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nestled on the back lawn of St. Louis Bertrand Catholic Church on Saturday, children happily played on bouncy houses as popcorn machines and live music filled the air.
It was a celebratory moment for the nearly 100 people in attendance at the LifeFest: Live, Love, Louisville event, rejoicing in the overthrow of Roe v. Wade and the end of abortion as a national right.
Peggy Boone, who sits on the board of directors of Right to Life of Louisville, said she is delighted that the decision on abortion rights now rests with the states.
“We’re just really happy that it’s going back to the state and it’s illegal here in Kentucky,” Boone said Saturday. “We’ve been working on it for 50 years.”
She also said her organization is already beginning to work to persuade voters to approve an amendment to the Kentucky constitution that states there are no abortion rights in the Commonwealth.
In a cabin covered with a blue tent roof, Sarah Hinklon had set up resources to hand out from the organization she works with, Angels in Disguise – a Kentucky nonprofit focused on stopping abortions fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome.
While she said the effects of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling would be phenomenal for her group, she encouraged those who oppose abortion to make sure their work doesn’t end at the end of the day. birth of a child.
She said that ultimately the work of making sure everyone has access to this health care cannot be separated from anti-abortion work and activism.
“Expanding health care is exactly what we’re trying to do,” Hinklon said. “Our focus must be on helping people live their best lives, not just to live.”
The mood was much less cheerful seven miles away, as abortion rights advocates gathered to protest Roe’s overthrow.
The corners of Patty Stocker’s eyes were wet with tears as she stood in her black and white striped dress under strings of light bulbs in UAW Hall’s Room 862 on Fern Valley Road.
A retired social worker and lifelong political activist, Stocker said she felt like everything was on the line.
“What is going on in this country? she asked, her voice shaking.
Moments earlier, Charles Booker, the Democratic challenger to Rand Paul’s 2022 U.S. Senate seat, had finished speaking, closing the “Unity Rally” for elected officials and candidates from Jefferson County, which the Democratic Party of Louisville had organized the day after the decision.
It drew nearly 200 people, mostly longtime party operatives, and speakers included Louisville Metro Councilwoman Paul McCraney; Tina Ward Pugh, candidate for Jefferson County Clerk; former mayoral candidate, the Reverend Tim Finley; Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg; and Morgan McGarvey, candidate for Louisville’s 3rd congressional district.
Booker made it clear he wasn’t happy. Dissatisfied with the number of people who showed up at the rally. Dissatisfied with the energy he saw at the party. And above all, the country’s dissatisfaction has reached the point that democracy “holds by a thread”.
“My heart is heavy. But we can’t just tell people ‘you have to vote,'” he said. “As leaders, we need to give people a reason to believe things can be different.”
Roe v. Wade reports:Abortion rights advocates protest the Roe v Wade decision at the Louisville Federal Courthouse
Booker told people it was time to build a community around this decision and use that community to build a stronger political infrastructure on the left.
He credited such an infrastructure as the reason Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel was successful in achieving his political goals.
Representative John Yarmuth stressed that the time for civility in these political struggles is over.
“We have to be ruthless,” Yarmuth said. “We need to be relentless. And we don’t need to be polite. In fact, we need to be very rude. We need to prosecute these people for who they are.”
Stocker, surrounded by other members of her party, said she just wanted to keep believing the Democratic Party would stand up for what’s good for people.
Read also :Louisville Reactions and Updates: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. wade
Contact journalist Thomas Birmingham @[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cthomasbirm.