Alice Haber turned 88 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she stood on a street corner in downtown Frederick, proudly brandishing a handmade sign that read, “Hear me roar about reproductive rights!”

She was surrounded by a cadre of other senior citizens, most of them holding pieces of poster board — made by Haber — with similar messages. As a young woman in her car passed by and flashed the group a thumbs up, they cheered.

“This is for you, young lady,” one of them called to the driver. “You don’t remember what it was like.”

About 20 senior residents gathered in front of the Frederick County Courthouse on Wednesday to rally for abortion rights. Fifty miles away at the U.S. Supreme Court, justices were hearing oral arguments in a case that could overturn or modify the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

Unlike many of the thousands of protestors from both sides of the abortion debate who descended on Washington this week, the demonstrators in front of Frederick’s courthouse were old enough to remember a time before Roe.

That’s why many of them decided to attend Wednesday’s event in the first place.

“Seniors have strong voices,” Haber said. “And our ranks are increasing.”

The case the court is currently weighing stems from a Mississippi law that bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks. Roe v. Wade, meanwhile, generally allows people to have an abortion until 24 weeks. The case set a legal precedent that patients have a constitutional right to abortion without excessive interference from state or federal governments.

Citing Roe, lower courts have held that the Mississippi law, originally introduced in 2018, is unconstitutional.

But now that the court boasts a 6-3 conservative majority, experts say the justices are likely to uphold the Mississippi statute, either rolling back Roe’s protections or rescinding them entirely.

If that were to happen, “trigger laws” that outlaw or dramatically restrict abortion access would automatically take effect in states across the country, mostly in the South and Midwest. Other states would likely pass similar laws soon after.

Harry Smith, one of the attendees’ at Wednesday’s demonstration, said his mother had an illegal abortion in the 1940s. Smith is the youngest of three boys, he said — all born while his mom was in her 20s. He isn’t sure whether the abortion was before or after his own birth.

What he does know, though, is that the procedure was performed by a “backstreet doctor,” recommended by her sister, in their small town in upstate New York.

Sue Hecht, a former state delegate who represented Frederick County, cried Wednesday while holding a sign with a hand-drawn coat hanger and the words “never again.” She’d previously worked at Heartly House, a Frederick center serving victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

During her time there, Hecht met women who — lacking safe or legal options — had performed risky procedures on themselves to terminate their pregnancies. She had a friend in college who did the same, and was rendered incapable of having children as a result.

“I can’t imagine going back,” Hecht said through her tears.

The Mississippi case has also mobilized groups opposed to abortion rights. Laura Bogley, director of legislation for Maryland Right to Life, brought a group of Maryland residents to the Supreme Court on Wednesday to rally in support of overturning Roe.

“We were there in solidarity asking the court to restore the integrity of the Constitution and the family,” she said.

Haber had hoped to secure a bus to take her group to Washington, too, but it was too expensive for her to afford. Still, she said, there was a benefit to organizing and demonstrating in their own community.

She spent six weeks before the rally reaching out to friends and neighbors, distributing flyers, making signs and T-shirts, even writing to her representatives.

“We want seniors all over the country to make sure that they’re engaged and they’re heard,” Haber said.

Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek

(37) comments

jsklinelga

Roe overturned or changed? Is it a women's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy? That is the key element in the abortion debate.

Unquestionably the act of terminating a pregnancy is contrary to church teaching and church law which fuels one of the primary sources of objection and resistance to allowing termination.

But as repugnant as that is to one group it could be argued that not all live under the teachings of the church. So in a sense it could be considered a religious liberty to allow termination for those who are not adherents to church law, doctrine or God.

Then the 64,000.dollar question arises - when would be a proper time to end a life? The morning after? Or perhaps immediately after birth? Common knowledge tells you there would be far more support for the morning after than immediately after birth and the time in between is the great, gray gulf of the abortion issue.

So what is really under scrutiny is not the legality of termination but the arbitrary cutoff of when termination should be legal. And that is arbitrary. If you read the subjective, musings within the SCOTUS ruling or are flabbergasted at the non sensical logic of Justice Sotomayor and the brain dead fetus you must realize this is all arbitrary. Arbitrary and deeply personal and divisive.

Which is a prima facie case that this should be a legislative matter not an arbitrary ruling by a few.

phydeaux994

The overall point is that biology does not determine when human life begins. It is a question that can only be answered by appealing to our values, examining what we take to be human.

Perhaps biologists of the future will learn more. Until then, when human life begins during fetal developments is a question for philosophers and theologians. And policies based on an answer to that question will remain up to politicians – and judges.

When human life begins is a question of politics – not biology

By Sahotra Sarkar

Some people seeking to influence public opinion about abortion rights claim the science is clear. It’s not, and that means abortion remains a political question – not a biological one.

public-redux

It is unclear why you think legislatures should have the authority to restrict religious liberty.

Dwasserba

‘“We want seniors all over the country to make sure that they’re engaged and they’re heard,’ Haber said.” Ma’am, respectfully, I’m a senior who survived the “usual” lame attempts to miscarry before being relinquished for adoption. How many seniors would even be here to have an opinion one way or the other if abortion had been legal.

So yeah after we force a woman to give birth to a child she didn't want...she can then just drop that child off at the nearest fire station or hospital..all states have that safe haven law so yeah plenty of babies for adoption then...to heck with all the trauma the woman had to go through to get to the point of giving birth, and hopefully she survives giving birth..in Mississippi it's tough to survive pregnancy....to heck with all that..it is safer to have an abortion in Mississippi then it is to give birth..

D why as a woman would you force a woman to carry a child to term she didn't want?

So you are saying you don't have a right to bodily autotomy? Are you sure you want to argue that? As a woman you want to argue that you don't have a right to control your own body? okay???

Yesterday would have been better had it been two men arguing for a woman's right to choose and a woman arguing against a woman's right to choose.....the absurdity of it all.....

bhall74

The pro-abortion folks have brainwashed a large segment of society with catchy little phrases, such as "Abortion is Healthcare", "A woman's right to choose", referring to the unborn child as a "fetus" so as to dehumanize it, ad nauseum. They argue that science doesn't know when life begins, while at the same time arguing that science must be respected in the case of climate change, or the efficacy of wearing masks and getting the Trump vaccine. However, I would argue that abortions are totally unnecessary except in the most extreme cases where it is necessary to save the life of the mother. Why are abortions unnecessary? It's because the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, made birth control free for every woman from age 14 and up. Women don't need a man's permission to get and take birth control, not their husband, their boyfriend, or their father. A sexually active woman who does not want to get pregnant has no excuse for not taking advantage of free birth control. Additionally, should a woman make a conscious decision to not take birth control to prevent getting pregnant, she still has access to the "morning after pill" will will abort any fertilized egg she may be carrying. In fact, as part of the pro-abortion protest on the steps of the Supreme Court last week, a group of women, all claiming to be pregnant, took the morning after pill. In doing so, they demonstrated that abortion is not necessary. So now we have the issue of why women are still having "unwanted" pregnancies, when not getting pregnant very simple...and free. At this time the Supreme Court is considering a challenge to the Mississippi law that established the viability of the unborn child at 15 weeks. In other words, abortion up to the 15th week is legal, and after the 15th week is murder. I find it hard to believe that woman will not know that she is pregnant well before the 15th week, and can therefore get a legal abortion in Mississippi, or in any other state. After all, isn't that the entire purpose of Planned Parenthood? So, when a woman finds herself pregnant, before the 15th week, and she doesn't want to give birth to baby, why in the hell would she ever continue with the pregnancy any longer than it takes to schedule an abortion with Planned Parenthood? What's driving the Left crazy right now is the fact they are losing ground with the American citizens when it comes to abortion. While there may still be a majority of citizens who believe that abortion should continue to be allowed, that same majority, when made aware of the Mississippi law's 15 week viability standard, support that standard. Mississippi didn't outlaw abortion, as some are claiming, it just made abortion on demand after 15 weeks wrong. So ladies, no one is going to make you carry a baby to term, you have at three options available to prevent that, birth control, the morning after pill, and abortion before the 15th week. So stop with all of the outrageous false claims, and stop blaming men because over half of those opposed to abortion are women, and stop blaming religion, because a lot of people see aborting a viable baby as exactly what it is...murder.

DickD

A woman should have just as much right to an abortion as gun owners have a right to kill others. Where are the penalties for automatic or semi automatic weapons? What age do you need to be and how do you certify knowing how to safely handle a gun?

We have a lot of rules on abortion, very few restrictions on guns, some of which have killed children in school.

C.D.Reid

OK Dick, what right does a gun owner have to kill someone else other than for self defense?

There are laws for both fully automatic and semi automatic firearms on the books right along with the penalties for violating them.

Different states have different laws for gun certification. If you want to know them, research them.

And no guns have ever killed any school children, or anyone else for that matter. The persons squeezing the triggers are the ones who did the killing.

You're pretty concerned with gun violence, but support the mass killings of millions of unborn children. Jeesh, can a man be anymore hypocritical! Here are a few facts you should love!

Abortion Statistics

Current United States Data:

Total number of abortions in the U.S. 1973-2018: 61.8 million+

186 abortions per 1,000 live births (according to the Centers for Disease Control)

U.S. Abortions in 2017: ~862,320 (Guttmacher Institute)

Abortions per day: 2362+ (GI)

Abortions per hour: 98+ (GI)

1 abortion every 37 seconds (GI)

13.5 abortions / 1000 women aged 15-44 in 2017 (GI) *

* https://www.all.org/learn/abortion/abortion-statistics/

And here's some pictures I'm sure you'll love as well. After all, they symbolize a woman's right to kill, don't they!

http://www.100abortionphotos.com/

Having an abortion is self-defense....

gabrielshorn2013

Always, pickles? I would agree if it were in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother's life was endangered by the pregnancy.

phydeaux994

In your experience as a male gab, who has the most desire to have sex, male or female? Who puts the most pressure verbally on their partner to have sex, male or female? Who tries to get their partner drunk or high or even may drop a drug into the partner’s drink in order to have sex, male or female? Which partner bears the entire blame and burden of an unwanted pregnancy as the result of having sex, male or female? Who is most likely to abandon their partner because of an unwanted pregnancy, male or female? Who is most likely to have to support financially and emotionally the child that is the result of an unwanted pregnancy, male or female?

Bringing a pregnancy to term and then giving birth does endanger a woman's life, ALWAYS. in the United States. Having an abortion is safer than giving birth...any pregnancy endangers a woman's life.

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, opponents have questioned the safety of medical procedures used to terminate pregnancy. Now, a new study contends that having a legal abortion is safer than carrying a baby to term.

The risk of death associated with a full-term pregnancy and delivery is 8.8 deaths per 100,000, while the risk of death linked to legal abortion is 0.6 deaths per 100,000 women, according to the study. That means a woman carrying a baby to term is 14 times more likely to die than a woman who chooses to have a legal abortion, the study finds.

"Regardless of one's sentiments about abortion, legal abortion is very safe, and dramatically safer than continuing the pregnancy," said the study's lead author, Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill.

https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=153902

gabrielshorn2013

Don’t know where you’re going with this, phy, and this is not a black and white issue. The statement that I was responding to was that abortion is self-defense, and I asked “always?”, which it clearly is not. Are you stating the chauvinistic opinion that females do not have a desire to have a “one-nighter” too? Boy would you be wrong! Both males and females have a libido, and an equal responsibility in this situation. When you engage in an activity for pleasure (without protection), whose primary function is procreation, and you hit the jackpot creating a pregnancy, what did you think could happen? As such, both sex partners are responsible for the outcome. If an abortion is unfortunately desired, then both sex partners bear the cost, not just the woman. If the “couple” decide to bring through full-term, the choice is to keep or put up for adoption. There are a few that participate in this forum who have described themselves as “abortion survivors” (adoptees), who are glad to be alive. Don’t get me wrong, phy, I fully support a woman’s right to choose, after all, it’s her body. However, with that choice comes great responsibility for both sex partners when you choose to take a risk. Abortion should not automatically be the solution to “an inconvenience” when that risk is realized. Dropping a drug into someone’s drink, or having sex with a drunk person is rape, plain and simple, and the guy that does it may just find himself on the well-deserved receiving end while in prison where he belongs.

gabrielshorn2013

@pickles Dec 2, 2021 3:02pm

I think you missed the part where I said "if the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy", pickles. If that is the reason you are providing your citations, then we agree. The mother's life is endangered, and an abortion is a viable option. Some women choose not to exercise that option, take the risk, and then the risk is realized.

So any time someone chooses to have an abortion they are practicing self-defense because any time someone is pregnant they are endangered...and any time someone is pregnant and they choose abortion, they are choosing to practice self-defense...because their life is endangered....because someone is pregnant...

gab

my last comment will not make sense unless you actually read my citation in full..you know pull up the link and read the entire page..but if you did then it will...cool...

gabrielshorn2013

@pickles Dec 2, 2021 4:18pm

So, where is the imminent threat of harm in your example, pickles? Self-defense requires an imminent threat of harm, meaning harm is highly likely. Shooting anyone that shows up at my door is different than shooting someone that comes into my home with a weapon and comes at me. The latter is self-defense. Your example is preventative. “If I never get pregnant, or if I terminate every pregnancy, I will never die from a pregnancy.” There is no imminent threat with that. You don’t have an imminent threat of a health issue until there are indications that the health issue is occurring, or is highly probable. You may have health complications later in the pregnancy, but the overwhelming majority of women will not.

phydeaux994

That’s why I said “most” and “most likely” gab. That could go 51%/49% and still answer the question couldn’t it? But thanks for the Birds and the Bees speech anyway. So let’s make it simple for you and clear up your position. As a Libertarian do you support the Government taking control of women’s reproductive Rights? Yea or nay?

Gab...

the imminent threat of harm ....you ask? any time someone is pregnant they are in imminent threat of harm...you didn't/did read my citation yet? because you are asking a question that I already answered about the imminent threat of harm whenever someone is pregnant...is always...any time someone is pregnant they are in the imminent threat of harm, which my citation clearly points out. But we may disagree on the meaning of clear??? Let me know...

gabrielshorn2013

phydeaux994 Dec 2, 2021 5:32pm No phy, I do not. I have been quite clear on my position. A woman has a right to choose. Did you see it this time? I have also been quite clear in the explanation of my position. We all have a personal responsibility, male or female, to avoid a fortuitous pregnancy. Having an abortion (when a quick run to the drugstore for a condom, birth control pills, or spermicide would have been appropriate, and avoided the situation), should not be the option of first choice. Maybe you didn't need the "birds & bees" talk, phy, but unfortunately is seems that many folks do.

gabrielshorn2013

@ pickles Dec 2, 2021 5:35pm

Yes I read your citation, pickles, top to bottom. What you are describing is not the risk of imminent harm. What you are is describing is a potential risk of harm. Those are two significantly different things.

How do you define imminent?

gabrielshorn2013

Imminent threat means a condition of noncompliance that is reasonably certain to place life or limb in direct peril and is immediate and impending and not merely remote, uncertain, or contingent. ... Imminent threat means the potential for harm or a dangerous situation to people or property, which is close at hand.

https://www.lawinsider.com/dictionary/imminent-threat

potential: existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potential

Gab

So how does this imminent threat not apply to a pregnant person? Any pregnancy is an imminent threat because there is a potential for endangerment, because any pregnancy carries risks..and risks can become an imminent threat...like you said. so any time a person chooses to have an abortion they are choosing not put themselves in imminent danger because they choose not risk an imminent threat on their life.

So how does this not apply to a pregnant person?

Imminent threat means a condition of noncompliance that is reasonably certain to place life or limb in direct peril and is immediate and impending and not merely remote, uncertain, or contingent. ... Imminent threat means the potential for harm or a dangerous situation to people or property, which is close at hand.

Being pregnant is always an imminent threat...because no pregnancy is threat free.

The person is actually pregnant not potentially pregnant...so why isn't an actual pregnant person not in imminent danger...or endangered as you first called it..?

As my citation pointed out any pregnancy is an imminent danger to the person that is pregnant...because no pregnancy is risk free...

gabrielshorn2013

A woman should have just as much right to an abortion as gun owners have a right to kill others.

Strange comparison, Dick. Nobody has the right to kill others, unless it is in self-defense. Are you suggesting that the fetus is attacking the mother?

Where are the penalties for automatic or semi automatic weapons?

You continue to conflate these terms, which suggests you either don’t know what you are talking about, or are being deliberately misleading, dick. Let me help you. Automatic: one pull of the trigger, many rounds fired. Semi-automatic: One pull of the trigger, one round fired. The same as any civilian firearm. Double action revolvers also fall into this definition, so are double-action revolvers a problem for you too? It is illegal for a civilian to own an automatic weapon without a license and fingerprinting, and you know that. All of the ones allowed must be manufactured before 1986. You cannot go to “Dick’s” and buy one. Those firearms go for upwards of $30,000 to $50,000 now, and NONE have been involved in any criminal activity. You can find the rules for ownership of automatic firearms in the Federal Firearms Act (https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/national-firearms-act). As for the penalties for illegal firearms transactions and possession, you may find those “rules” under 18 CFR 922, and the penalties under 18 CFR 924, (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 and https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/924)

What age do you need to be and how do you certify knowing how to safely handle a gun?

Please check the requirements for the State of Maryland (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Maryland and https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/Firearms/RegulatedFirearmPurchases.aspx)

Since you keep asking the same questions over and over, please bookmark these links for future reference.

C.D.Reid

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] gabe! But don't expect an answer to either of us, Dick isn't into doing that. Too much trouble, I suppose.

shiftless88

the comparison is ludicrous. A fetus is not a person so those laws have nothing to do with one another. It is simple; the government cannot compel someone to donate bone marrow or a kidney to save a life.

gabrielshorn2013

Agreed, shiftless.

phydeaux994

By the way BTT(BullyTagTeam) members, did you miss this article in the FNP today?

Authorities: Student kills 3, wounds 8 at Michigan school

I’m sure that you guys as pro-life supporters and authors of hundreds of comments over time about the two brothers, 15 and 16, who brutally killed a man at the Frederick Fair and as supporters of the NRA and who condone the “anyone of any age can get any gun for any purpose” philosophy would have hundreds of comments about another mass killing at a school. I guess you just overlooked the article here in the FNP. SILENCE from Mr. Reid and gab and veritas and the rest of your ilk. But I expected no less.

gabrielshorn2013

You need to get those glasses checked, phy. I clearly stated that I am pro-choice. Nice try. BTW, go to that story and you'll see my comments.

C.D.Reid

"SILENCE from Mr. Reid and gab and veritas and the rest of your ilk," fido? I've stated before that you just write the comments you want to the articles that interest you, and not worry about what other people choose to write their comments about. I sure as hell don't sit here wondering which stories I'm going to comment on just to make sure it's to a story you think that I should. Why? Because I couldn't care less what you do, or don't, think about anything.

veritas

Roe v Wade is bad law, as any honest, competent, impartial attorney, regardless of their personal position on abortion, will concede. Contrary to conventional wisdom, abandoning Roe will not outlaw abortion, but ultimately it will compel the individual states to determine the value, if any, they place on unborn life. Obviously, Alice Haber calculates the value to be zero.

Yeah V I think the states that do place value on the unborn(have you read The Handmaid's Tale? It is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood,?) should also allow them full personhood under the law...I mean full personhood.

Fetuses should have the same exact rights as any born person does...The basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You know, the 14th Amendment requires equal protection under the law for everybody, and so we believe that every human being, regardless of their location, whether they're in the womb or out of it, deserves those protections and those rights...so yeah full rights...

gabrielshorn2013

Well done Ms. Haber 👍👍👍

Fredginrickey

Thank you all for your support.

reader2015

I am thankful for them! Thank you for standing up (out in the cold) for women's rights! If I did not have to work today I would be there with you.

public-redux

It's wonderful to see such altruism.

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