Hundreds gathered outside of the Li Ka Shing Center at the Stanford School of Medicine on a hot Monday afternoon to rally for abortion rights amid last week's Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
During the event, titled "Rally for Reproductive Rights," Stanford physicians, some in scrubs and white coats, spoke about the importance of the procedure for their own patients, while others held pro-choice signs. A doctor held a coat hanger with the words "Never Again!" in reference to unsafe means for carrying out an abortion. Another had a sign reading: "Misogyny kills more people than abortion."
Dr. Kate Shaw, who works in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Stanford, shared the diverse stories of pregnancies she's helped terminate: She treated a 42-year-old mother of three whose IUD failed and a 26-year-old woman who had a 50% chance of dying if she carried out her pregnancy.
"We've all known, loved and taken care of someone who's had an abortion," she said. "Hundreds of thousands of pregnant people will no longer be able to decide. Restricting abortion only makes it unsafe (to get one)."
Shaw also is worried about the future of contraceptives in the hands of the Supreme Court.
Dr. Hayley Miller, a fellow in maternal-fetal care medicine at Stanford, said abortion bans are built on disinformation.
"Without abortion, women will die," she said. "As someone who takes care of the highest risk pregnant women, I will always fight to protect their right to abortion care."
Dr. Metty Markwei, a first-year Stanford obstetrics resident, shared how surprised she was to be spending her first day of residency speaking at a Roe v. Wade rally. She noted that she chose to train based on where abortions would be allowed if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
Stanford professor Jill Helms held a sign reading, "Abortions are being banned before assault rifles. It's not about 'sanctity of life,' it's about control and power."
Jaqueline Martinez, a summer research intern in Stanford's sociology department who's from Nevada, said after the rally that it was important for her to take a stand on the issue and that she has family members who would have died had they not gotten abortions.
The Supreme Court's decision has left Martinez frustrated. "We fought in the 1900s, and women are still out here fighting in 2022 for women's rights?" she asked.