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Hundreds Of Pro-Choice Protesters Gathered Outside Montreal's Courthouse In A Solidarity Rally

'En colère et solidaires' protests also took place outside courthouses in Longueuil, Quebec City & Sherbrooke.

MTL Blog, Staff Writer
​Three people hold signs reading "Riot girl summer," "No uterus, no opinion," and "We will not yield." Right: Several hundred people crowd outside Montreal's courthouse holding signs.

Three people hold signs reading "Riot girl summer," "No uterus, no opinion," and "We will not yield." Right: Several hundred people crowd outside Montreal's courthouse holding signs.

Several hundred people gathered outside the Montreal courthouse on Sunday afternoon for a pro-choice rally. The solidarity protest was organized by the Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances (FQPN) in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of the federal right to abortion granted by its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Today's gathering was one of several similar events outside courthouses in Longueuil, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Rimouski and Trois-Rivières

"It allowed us to externalize our anger," protester Émilie Giguère told MTL Blog, holding a sign that read, 'No uterus, no opinion.'

"We feel less alone seeing everyone here and getting support from others passing in the street."

Fellow protester Kayleigh Gauvin said she's worried about a similar loss of rights in Canada.

"It's a big fear of mine. We may be less at risk here, but there are plenty of elected representatives who want to ban abortion without helping people who would have to have children. There are ways to discourage abortion (like sex ed and social supports); banning abortion outright is the way that leads to people dying," she said.

"Women's lives are often reduced to reproduction, what they can do with their uterus. I want to be able to choose, and I don't want my contribution to society to be about whether or not I have children," said Gauvin.

Fellow protester Sonia said, as an immigrant, the news from the U.S. hits close to home.

"People often immigrate with the expectation of human rights and more freedoms. But men control the political sphere, and it has an impact on our bodies. When some women lose their rights, we all do. We're in 2022. We should be living more freely," she said.

Many protesters wore black or sported black armbands as a sign of mourning. Because the heat was so oppressive, most protesters stuck to the shade of the courthouse entrance. Montreal police were nearby and had been notified ahead of time about the possibility of counter-protesters.

"The Supreme Court decision is a hit to democracy in the United States," said Gauvin.

"The people on that court aren't even representative of the people they're impacting. For such a small group to govern the lives of so many without those people having any say, that's not democracy," she said.

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