Hundreds attend pro-choice rally in downtown Knoxville

The protest was in response to recent news the Supreme Court was considering overturning Roe v. Wade.
Protesters gather in Krutch Park for a hands-off my body protest.
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 11:48 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Hundreds of protesters came to East Tennessee asking for the Roe v. Wade decision to stay in place. This comes after documents were leaked suggesting the Supreme Court looked into overturning the ruling.

The protest organizer, Caroline Mann, said it’s disheartening to hear this.

“Not a surprised. Disappointed and alarmed,” Mann said.

For people in Tennessee, this ruling would enact the Trigger Law which would take affect 30 days after the ruling if officially overturned. Women would no longer be allowed to get abortions in the state unless major bodily harm was involved. No exceptions would be made for rape or incest.

“We’re coming together. We’re sick and tired of it so we all get to finally have our voices heard,” protester Mallary Starrett said.

Pro-choice supporters worried if the case was overturned that women would suffer. Some pro-life supporters made their way to downtown Knoxville to try and talk with the protesters.

“I’m not necessarily going to save a bunch of people. I just want to share that love, spread the word and get as many people to listen as I can,” pro-life supporter Jeffrey Ribaudo said.

Ribaudo said he didn’t plan on going to the event, but when he walked by Saturday afternoon, he wanted to see if he could pray for people.

“I didn’t come out here to preach anti-abortion propaganda or anything. Granted I’m against it. I just want to spread that love with them,” Ribaudo said.

The Bans Off Our Bodies’ protest happened nationally on Saturday. Many waited for the final decision from the Supreme Court. Pro-choice supporters said the news from the Supreme Court weighed even heavier on them knowing the Planned Parenthood was burned down by an arsonist New Year’s Eve.

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