Dowdy Park rally for abortion rights in wake of Supreme Court ruling

By on July 11, 2022

(Photo by Kip Tabb)

Holding handmade signs in protest of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision overturning Roe v. Wade and reversing a women’s constitutional right to an abortion, about 200 people gathered at Dowdy Park in Nags Head on the afternoon of July 10 for a “Bans off our Bodies” Rally for Reproductive Rights.

The rally was sponsored by a coalition that included the Dare County Democratic Party, the Democratic Women of Dare, the Progressive Caucus of Dare County, the Indivisible/Stronger NC OBX and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Outer Banks. Speakers ranged from local activists and mothers to 2022 Democratic candidates such as Barbara Gaskins (U.S. House of Representatives District 3) and Heather Euler (Dare County Board of Commissioners). Former Chief Judge of North Carolina’s Court of Appeals Judge Linda McGee also spoke during the event that lasted a little over an hour.

“At times, we have to be willing to stand up against adversity, and we have to say enough is enough. And today I stand here and say enough is enough,” declared Gaskins, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

(Photo by Kip Tabb)

“I will not take one step back into the 50s or the 60s…We must do better and a woman’s right to choose and access to safe abortions must be ensured and preserved across this nation and right here in North Carolina,” she continued. “We must ensure the right to safe abortions, and we must address the social disparity to allow access for all.”

“Politics has no place in what happens with my body or any other woman’s body,” declared former Democratic candidate for the Dare Board of Commissioners, Amanda Hooper, during the rally. “This is between me and my family. It’s between me and my doctor and it’s between me and my god.”

Unitarian Universalist Community Minister Rev. Dr. Gaye Morris stated that people “are disgusted by the use of religion to take away the rights of half of our population to make their own decisions about their own bodies.”

Speaking of the anti-abortion movement, she added, “By calling themselves pro-life, they have painted a picture of us who are for women having autonomy and making their own reproductive health decision as anti-life…A pro-life movement would ban assault rifles while enacting Medicare for all, universal childcare and a living wage.

For her part, Dare County mother Macey Chovas told the crowd: “We have to speak up. Saying nothing, doing nothing is only furthering the oppression and this is not the life we deserve, nor do we want to leave for the next generation. We must all do what we can, nothing is too small. A small step forward is in fact a step forward.”

In closing, Dare County Democratic Party Chair Susan Sawin urged rally goers to take action.

“Make sure that you write to your senators, your representatives, your congresspeople, committee members who don’t represent you who are considering bills that will curtail your rights,” she said. “Be vigilant, be vocal, talk about it…Now is the time to be vocal. And finally, vote.”

(Photo by Michelle Wagner)


  • Bobby

    These are the same people that gave us Joe Biden and the situation we are in.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 12:00 pm
  • Debra

    Does anyone think we would be here without full term abortions? I believe that this is the root cause of sending. The decision back to the states. How many people do you know who are in favor of killing a full term baby? 15 weeks is plenty of time to decide.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 1:25 pm
  • Just a mom

    the push for normalizing murder.
    Thank God and all those who voted for the right people to be put into the right positions at the right time to get that garbage thrown out of the US Constitution!
    Now the power lies in the peoples’ hands. Voting for the right people will be imperative yet again in our coming elections.
    No one ever said a woman shouldn’t be able to have private conversations involving legitimate reasons for abortion… life or death health concerns for mama or baby, rape, etc.
    There once was a real reason for abortion like baby had no brain or major organ and mom couldn’t handle that for next few months knowing the inevitable outcomes was her baby would die.
    For the individual woman who prefers to be unaccountable for her actions, uses abortion as a form of birth control and thinks she is entitled to murder innocent life with the tax paying dollars of another, that’s insane and should be punishable by law. Those who murder a pregnant woman for some time now have been charged with 2 counts… and some how it’s ok if mommy does it. Sick.
    Vote for the right for all those innocent people who are not even getting a shot at it because of those who want to justify their moral wrongs by trying to make it right legally.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 1:47 pm
  • Read the Constitution

    The Supreme Court put this back in the States hands. This means that here, in North Carolina the State will decide what can and cannot be done, which is how it will be in all 50 States. Until NC decides what that will be why yell the sky is falling?

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 2:05 pm
  • Stephen Miller

    A celebration of murder.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 2:12 pm
  • What's all the fuss about?

    Relax . . . You can still kill your unborn child in NC.
    If choice was so important to Democrats and they were so afraid of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, they could have protected the right to abortion during the 111th Congress (2009-2011) when they held both houses and the Presidency. For all practical purposes, the same is true today with the 117th Congress. So, regardless of which side you are on, you should be asking the question, “Why haven’t the Democrats voted the right to abortion into law?” Rather than protesting the Supreme Court, you should be demanding that your elected Democrats do their jobs.

    BTW – I know you will not let this comment be posted, Mark.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 2:45 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Wrong you are, Fuss. There’s no problem with people voicing their opinions on this site. Where the line does get drawn is if the comments are abusive or overtly insulting or contain clear misinformation.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 3:22 pm
  • John Reston

    I’ll never understand how any woman can support legislation that allows others to control what they do with their uterus.

    Roe, Roe, Roe your vote!

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 2:55 pm
  • Just a mom

    A civilization only exists because a group in a species decides to abide by laws agreed upon by the masses. I am fairly confident most people agreed long ago with the Code that murder was not acceptable. It’s not about what I am aloud to do with my body it’s about what is just. I am glad you are here to have your opinion even if we disagree. Your mother did the right thing.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 4:00 pm
  • Dan

    None of these events ever mention the dead baby. It’s as if that isn’t even part of the issue. I’m Pro Choice – the little, helpless baby gets a choice!

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 4:29 pm
  • Editor

    Your blurb under the headline saying they lost their constitutional right to abortion is false… there was no constitutional right to abortion… nowhere in the constitution does the word abortion exist.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 4:48 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Editor, this was how seven justices cited a Constitutional right to abortion in the original case in 1973.

    On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides a fundamental “right to privacy”, which protects a pregnant woman’s right to an abortion.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 6:54 pm
  • Pro-choice

    Reading all the ridiculous comments .
    No @just a mom, women do not use abortion as birth control. Yes, it was a constitutional right to privacy for 50 years. In 1973 the Roe decision was made by 7-2 republican majority SCOTUS.
    A 10 year old rape victim had to travel to another state to get an abortion. 10 years old!!! In 2022 , we are going backwards . What’s struck down next women’s right to vote?
    What about the men ? No responsibility?
    When does child support start? At conception?
    Be careful what you wish for.

    Wonder how many abortions cult leader trump paid for? Never forget Jan6

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 5:45 pm
  • Dethrol

    There is no right to abortion anywhere in the Constitution or in federal law, and there never has been. Since 1973, politicians have hidden behind a SCOTUS ruling that created legislation out of whole cloth, in direct conflict with the separation of powers established in the Constitution. These same politicians (think Biden, Schumer, Leahy, Markey, Hoyer, Kaptur, Pelosi, ad nauseum) have been around for decades and never missed an opportunity to use this issue to drive a wedge between Americans while doing nothing, even when they had the votes and the power to write a law and have it signed by the President. And now, they feign outrage when the SCOTUS rules that anything not enumerated in the Constitution is left to the states. Red herring is also out of season…. Abortion is and has been legal in North Carolina since the 1800’s and it remains legal today. Never let a crisis go to waste and if there is no crisis, create one, and then don’t waste the opportunity to further divide the nation.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 5:59 pm
  • Jeff Walker

    “Just a mom” inadvertently told the truth about the motivation behind the anti-abortion movement with the phrase “the individual woman who prefers to be unaccountable for her actions”. The religious right can’t abide a woman having sex of her own free will (which is an alien concept to pretty much all of them in the first place) without some form of punishment.

    Also “What’s all the fuss about?” is correct that the democrats had several decades to codify Roe into law, but instead cynically chose to use the threat of it being overturned as a fundraising and disciplinary tool against anyone demanding too much from the party. Even now with the Hobbs decision, all they can do is beg for money while admonishing voters and activists upset with their continued inaction as “outside the mainstream” of the party, yet they have the gall to still demand their support come November.

    Just a sad spectacle all around.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 6:03 pm
  • Amy

    The life inside of you is not your body, therefore is not your choice to end it. Who is going to stand up for the innocent lives who are being discarded? No matter the circumstances, it is still murder.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 6:10 pm
  • Saddened

    I am so sad to see these people protest in a park while children are playing. Way to let the children know that they are unwanted burdens.
    Another sad situation is those there with babies in the strollers. I pray for these children.
    Some if these protesters are the the same people that demanded I and others get the Jabby Jab. So much for my body, my choice!
    Lastly Protestors: educate yourself. Abortion is not banned…unfortunately. THE state is now in control which is where the decisions need to be made. We are a Republic. The federal governmental overreach is finally over.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 6:41 pm
  • Jeremy

    I thought protesting and voicing one’s opinions was a right in this country. This should be celebrated vs chastised.

    Monday, Jul 11 @ 7:29 pm
  • John

    I’m truly baffled by the hypocrisy of most pro-life republicans. They want a women who may not have the means to care for a child to be forced to birth said child but then they oppose the government assistance that the mother would require to raise the child. I’m personally not a fan of the government rewarding people who make poor decisions and can see how this welfare program gets abused. One question I’d like to ask is how many unwanted children or kids of parents abusing the welfare system grow up to be productive members of society. I’m not stereotyping all kids who grew/grow up in these situations but it has to be apparent that the degradation of society in America has spiraled out of control over the last few decades. Now I know there are other factors to blame as well but it should be obvious that a woman forced to birth an unwanted child might not care for and raise that child to be a “good” person and that child may grow up to have kids they raise with a similar lack of morals who have kids that they raise with the same similar lack of morals and so on. I mean no offense to people who genuinely need and dont abuse govt assistance with raising kids and I know plenty of people in these situations that turned out great. However I do believe a lot of govt assistance raised children do not become productive members of society and a snowball effect begins with their kids and the kids of their kids, etc. I’m sure this rant seems off topic but if pro-lifers would think about this perspective, maybe they would realize that it might be best for the baby and the world if these kids weren’t born.

    A quick made up story: Imagine a platoon during wartime discovers a baby and decides to try to rescue him/her during a mission that requires them being undetected by enemy forces. While in enemy territory that baby starts crying uncontrollably and a decision has to be made; risk detection and almost sure death for the whole platoon, or terminate the baby. Neither of these are good decisions but one definitely has a better effect for the majority.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 12:29 am
  • Tom

    so how bout that bridge not opening? am I right?!

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 1:00 am
  • Currituck

    Both sides have a right to voice their opinion (Jeremy). That can be the beginning of a conversation. Sadly, indignation seems to be the goal today.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 5:06 am
  • Family Planning

    For those commenting about how this is not a woman’s choice:
    What have you done for a living child who is already in the foster system?
    I’ll wait.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 6:25 am