LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Students from more than a dozen high schools throughout the Denver metro walked out of school Thursday morning to protest the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that shows a majority of justices support overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide.
Students from six Jefferson County high schools, several Denver Public Schools campuses, and Aurora Public Schools walked out of class and protested in different locations.
“It is a pretty big deal because it affects both our bodily autonomy and our right to privacy,” said Elizabeth Swanson, Lakewood High School sophomore.
Swanson says she chose to take part in the demonstration to show that young people are also very concerned about the abortion issue.
“It's all about us being able to shape the future and not having our parents and the Supreme Court and everybody else dictate what we can do,” Swanson said.
Lakewood High School sophomore Kiana Good knows abortion rights are protected under Colorado law, but she says she’s worried about women in other places.
“It's really important for me to be involved in this because in the future, I might need an abortion,” Good said. “But I'm not the only person in the world who's a woman and who would possibly need an abortion in the future. I think it is so unfair that only certain states would possibly allow abortions when I think it should be legalized everywhere.”
Senior Aden Baumgarten says as a male student, it was especially important for him to take part in the protest.
“The whole "my body, my choice" movement is very important to me,” Baumgarten said. “Everybody is welcome to their own opinion, but just try to put yourself in the shoes of somebody who's in a circumstance that's just very difficult.”
But Lynn Grandon, director of the Respect Life Office for Catholic Charities, says she’s helped dozens of young mothers who have decided against abortion.
“When we tell them upfront how abortions are done — because we say to them, "Make an informed decision, you deserve to make an informed decision," — the majority of those teens, without any push from us other than to just say, "Here are the honest facts about it so that you can be empowered to make a good decision," the majority of them say, "You know, what? Now that I understand this, I just cannot do that,"” Grandon said.
Grandon says she’s seen the pain of teen mothers who have chosen to have abortions.
“I just care about kids and I care about the decisions they make. And I care about their futures,” Grandon said.
Anotherreproductive rights protest is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 9:00 a.m. at the Boulder Courthouse.