Saturday was a national day of action in response to the recent leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion showing that the justices are poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Ward ruling which protects women’s ability to seek abortions.

Abortion-rights proponents made their voices heard at Ban Off Our Bodies rallies in cities across North Dakota. There were rallies in Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks, and Fargo.

These two photos were taken by Karen Sanderson who attended the Ban Off Our Bodies march in Minot. North Dakota Women’s Network Executive Director Kristie Wolff told KX that approximately 60 people attended the event in Minot.

Signs and chants were seen and heard at the steps of the North Dakota Capitol on Saturday as around 150 people showed up for the Bans Off Our Bodies march.

“The draft that came out of the Supreme Court really threatens 50 years of precedent, of access to reproductive healthcare,” explained ND Women’s Network Executive Director Kristie Wolff.

Speakers shared their personal stories at the march and shared concerns about their ability to make reproductive healthcare choices.

“I had so many women come up to me that said I was doing this back in the 70’s. I can’t believe I am still doing this, and I also again had college students saying this is our future they’re messing with,” said Wolff.

North Dakota has a trigger ban in place. This means if Roe v. Wade gets overturned, an abortion ban will automatically take effect for the entire state.

“The Attorney General will make the decision if and when our ban goes into effect. And, when that ban would go into effect, the one and only clinic that we have in the state would actually have to close within 30 days. That would eliminate access for so many women for such a vital healthcare service,” said Wolff.

She says her motivation for being at the march was personal. Earlier in life she needed abortion access for a high-risk pregnancy.

“Fifteen years ago, we were pregnant during a high-risk pregnancy with twins, and one of our options was to terminate one twin to save the other, and so I was pro-choice prior to that but that solidified that and has made me speak out several times. We sadly lost both twins but has made me very vocal and fight for that right for other women and other families,” said Mathews.

Wolff points out most abortion-rights proponents do want to see the rate of abortions go down.

“There are data-driven policies that can reduce those abortion rates, and we want to work together to do that, and so instead of bans, all that bans do is they don’t prevent abortion; they prevent safe abortion. Let’s work on these data-driven policies that will actually reduce abortion rates and still give women access to the much-needed reproductive healthcare that we currently have,” explained Wolff.

If Roe v. Wade does get overturned, the authority will turn back to the states. One organization says that’s how it should have always been.

North Dakota Right To Life is the most prominent anti-abortion organization in the state and they view abortion fundamentally as an act of violence.

Executive Director McKenzie McCoy says that if Roe v. Wade gets overturned, a large part of their work will shift toward helping mothers and baby’s with essential care, and helping individuals through the grieving process.

“There are going to be so many women who are going to have to work through all of that trauma and grief and angst that they have been having to basically cover up because our society says abortion of and if you’re grieving, then there’s something wrong with you. So, that is another huge arm of a post-Roe landscape that is going to be beautiful and challenging,” said McKenzie.

North Dakota Right To Life acknowledges that there are difficult situations when a mother’s health is in jeopardy, and abortion should only be used in a last resort effort to save the mother’s life.