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)


  • Big Frank

    ah… the irony of the baby strollers at the kill the unborn rally…… can they really be protesting states rights and the power / decisions being returned to the voters ? non of it makes sense. Same people that thought Biden was I good idea I guess

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 6:36 am
  • John Boy Billy

    Pro-choice: That 10 year old ‘story’ has been proven to be false. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

    Mark: That is one piece of the original ruling and it doesn’t end there. The Court said that, during the first trimester, the abortion decision was left to the woman and her doctor. Following the first trimester, until fetal viability, the state’s interest in the mother’s health reaches the compelling level, and the state can regulate the procedure, only if it “reasonably relates to the preservation and protection of maternal health.” When the point of fetal viability is reached, then the state could protect its interest in “potential life” and regulate abortion to that end. This includes banning that practice of abortion at that stage in the pregnancy.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 6:43 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    For the record, the Ohio AG says he hasn’t heard anything about the 10-year-old seeking an abortion.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 9:55 am
  • Ginger

    Thank you Outer Banks Voice for featuring an article about this important event. Women hold up half the sky (at least) and they VOTE. We refuse to go back to an age when women’s lives were unnecessarily sacrificed. We insist on being treated with dignity, respect, and as equal citizens in every regard. We should be trusted to make decisions about our own bodies. In fact, I can’t think of anything more intrusive than having the government tell us what we can and can’t do with our own bodies. Reproductive rights are human rights. Abortion is healthcare. This is a war against women. What’s next? This fight is not over, not by a long shot.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 7:30 am
  • Pearl

    If a woman should be forced to have an unwanted child. It should immediately be given to the father after birth.

    I imagine Roe vs Wade would again become the law.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 8:22 am
  • Jay

    Re: Pro-choice, so far the story of the 10 year old traveling to get an abortion has not been verified as true. Even the Washington Post fact checker has doubts. Maybe we will find it is true or maybe we’ll find it false but fall back on the argument that it could have happened so that’ll make the story live on as true.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 9:06 am
  • Really??

    I am ashamed of our County. In a children’s park! This is sickening. Take your protest elsewhere. I can agree that there are special times when this “procedure” is necessary. Unfortunate, but necessary. However, personally, I know many many women who have had it done, and not one case was for a medically necessary reason. Do your research, watch what actually happens to an innocent baby, and tell me it’s fine. It is not fine. It is a disgrace. We treat animals better than we do our own. Who are these people? I will never understand.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 10:00 am
  • Wayne Floyd

    Looks as if the hypocritical “Christians” (from their political lobbyist churches) are offended that the jig is up and people are beginning to understand their real motives. PLEASE KEEP RELIGION OUT OF GOVERNMENT. There is a separation of state and government for a reason. This is a fight for the protection of American liberty and women’s legal rights. The “moral” issue should be kept individually personal. I have watched women being berated, insulted and offended by weak men all my life. To all men, this one request. I implore you to understand and to respect ALL women on this issue, regardless of where they stand. Show some damn respect would you please!!!!

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 11:00 am
  • Beachiekeen

    Seems a lot of folk either never learned or forgot reproductive biology
    Zygote-Embryo-Fetus there is no “baby” until a live birth and is a marketing term to get folk to buy all those cute doodads and costumes
    After birth it’s a neonate then an infant

    I’m curious when the anti choice folk will propose and pay for universal free birth control including vasectomy and support sex ed in schools.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 11:00 am
  • Really??

    Correction. I am very proud to live in this County. I have always been proud of the outpouring of love for our community and our children. I am ashamed that this protest was allowed in a children’s park. Anywhere else would have been fine.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 11:23 am
  • Pro-choice

    I don’t think the family of 10 year old rape victim would call the Ohio AG to ask where she can get an abortion. They called their DOCTOR! and got in touch with a Indiana doctor where abortion is still legal. I saw the doctor who did the procedure interviewed a few nights ago on @Lawrence. This is why the constitutional right to privacy matters, politicians should not be making medical decisions period!

    The fact is more 10 year old rape victims will need abortions whether you believe it or not.

    Are the extremist MAGATs gonna go over there with their pitchforks , flag poles and baseball bats and beat the doctors too?
    Agree with @Pearl 100%

    Until 1974 -Women were not allowed to have a credit card , mortgage , buy a car , Do we really want to go backwards ladies? Let your daughters know about these recent laws that might be struck down by the extreme religious right scotus

    Republicans are already threatening to ban abortion nationwide if they win house and senate, they talking about ending Social Security and Medicare.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 1:09 pm
  • C A

    Maybe it’d be wise to watch out for what you do before you do it? Sure would make things a whole lot better, and surely less stressful. Y’all have a nice day.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 1:13 pm
  • tp

    Of all the “hot button” constitutional issues that bring Americans to the debate forum, this might be the hottest, followed by the Second Amendment and the Religion Clauses. In the spirit of freedom of expression, I hope that the Outer Banks Voice allows it to continue. I would hate to think that we would be hoping that Elon Musk will buy the Voice.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 2:10 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    tp, I’m not selling to Musk for under $44 billion, I can tell you that.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 4:39 pm
  • Billnc


    Call it what you want, but all else being equal, it’s a human life, complete with totally unique DNA that will define everything about them. A person that would one day have hopes, dreams, a career, kids etc.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 2:44 pm
  • resident

    Thank you Family Planning. You will wait for quite a while.I have gotten to the point that I can barely listen to the ignorance of what I hear. a large number of people do not believe in facts or don’t think they are important .A large majority of people do not have the capacity to imagine a perspective or a life other than their own. Never mind have compassion or understanding of someone else’s experience, Here’s a fact for you. I was raped when I was 10 and was removed from my home and siblings into the foster care system. by the age of eleven I tried to kill myself with an overdose. Thankfully I failed . I spent 40 plus years trying to get over the loss of my siblings who I adored, the shame , the idea that I was alone, the lack of love and guidance and nurturing and so much more. I kept this secret from everyone. I eventually began to use drugs to numb the pain in my heart and again thankfully I recovered from addiction. I was lucky in that something made me fight to have a better life and eventually made one with children of my own , a career , and a understanding and empathy for those that suffer . unfortunately I am rushing through this but the point is that we are not taking care of the large numbers of children suffering in this country every day. Children that are abused physically, emotionally, sexually, have food insecurity ( think about a small child going to bed hungry) and so many more horrific circumstances. Think long and hard about this . It is happening in this great nation and not many citizens are paying attention. Who is fighting for these children that are already born and suffering? Who is going to fight for children/ babies that are not wanted? Any self righteous people want to volunteer ? These are babies and children that cannot fight for themselves .I do not think abortion is the answer but an unwanted child will suffer.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 2:57 pm
  • John Boy Billy

    Outside of the less then 3% of abortions that are due to rape, incest, etc. the remaining 97% are due to the choice of the woman to have sex. Making the CHOICE to have sex brings on the risks of getting pregnant.

    Beachiekeen: You are purposely leaving out the point of viability, with which current medical capabilities, is at least at 26 weeks.

    It’s funny that the abortion crowd is only for personal freedom of choice when it comes to abortion and what gender a person wants to be. They want the federal government to dictate to them everything else in their life (how to protect themselves – or not, what energy to use, what car to drive, what foods to eat, etc., etc.). If you disagree, name one other policy that liberals are in favor for that gives the people a personal choice.

    BTW, this ruling doesn’t ban abortion. It sends it back to the states where the PEOPLE vote to elect the representatives that reflect their personal belief. For those that want to abort up to an including birth, you are free to move to New York, California, Mass, etc. or vote for the state lawmakers that support your position.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 4:08 pm
  • Jay

    Re: Pro choice any rape of a child is a crime and the law in Ohio requires i.e. it’s mandatory the doctor report the crime. Since it appears no report has been made it raises the question as to whether the story is true or not.

    How will the rapist be punished if the crime is not reported?

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 9:03 pm
  • Beachiekeen

    Yes thanks for the affirmations the zygote, embryo or fetus is only potential life and yes potential viability at 26 weeks so we’re not disagreeing except for “moment of possibility” or 15 weeks
    Often takes 8-10 weeks for someone to suspect pregnancy and here on OBX takes another 8+ weeks to get a doctor appointment unless of course one lives in Manteo
    Meanwhile all this anti-woman many choices include the sperm guy husband, partner, boyfriend if a teen also parents

    I thought our OBX culture has been accept all and not put our noses into our neighbors business- me? I’d be more interested in who voted for the conman, insurrectionist in 2020 get we’d been fooled 2016 but the former guy has done more damage to “pro-life” than any couple opting for an abortion prior to 24 weeks
    But I opt to mind my own business, and respect my neighbors choices

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 9:56 pm
  • Cam

    Without commenting on the issue at hand…I would like to point out the poor journalism in this article which is told entirely from the side of the demonstrators and one political party without giving voice to the other side of the issue. This is NOT an opinion piece…but a news piece in which only one side of an issue was covered and numerous opinions were expressed from one point of view. While it is fine if the “Voice” wants to express it’s opinion, it should do so outside of the news articles. This is really poor journalism and you should correct it regardless of the topic.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 10:18 pm
  • Mary

    @ John Boy Billy Perfect example of male entitlement: “the remaining 97% (abortions) are due to the choice of THE WOMAN to have sex”. What about the man that chooses to have sex? No consequences… That’s the problem!

    When these unwanted babies are born, hunt down the “baby daddies” with DNA and make the couple get married (yes, some men would require a divorce and leave their already existing family) and raise the unwanted child together. Make the man equally as responsible financially and emotionally as the woman. Let the man feel the shame and limitations of an unwanted pregnancy as much as the woman. Make that unwanted child feel the hate and resentment of both parents every single day. I’ll bet things would change quickly!

    Bottom line…History shows us, abortions will always take place. It’s a matter of a woman doing it safely or not while the daddy can do as he pleases.

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 10:47 pm
  • charlie

    We all have opinions. we all have religious tenets… Mine or yours should not overrule another’s beliefs…In the end God will sort it all out… It is not for us to judge…

    Tuesday, Jul 12 @ 10:58 pm