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'I cried': Hampton NAACP holds rally in response to Roe v. Wade decision

Hampton NAACP Roe rally (June 27).PNG
Posted at 11:16 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 23:35:42-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The Supreme Court of the United States' decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, the landmark ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, Friday has led advocates with one local organization to make their voices heard.

The Hampton chapter of the NAACP held a civil rights rally Monday night to fight for women's rights and to spread the message about the importance of voting.

Turning their anger into motivation, speakers took the podium demanding justice.

NAACP leaders, pastors and families filled the church of Canaan Baptist Church to fight for reproduction rights.

"This is an emergency. This is 911. We have to be proactive; we have to get out and go vote," said Gaylene Kanoyton, the president of the Hampton NAACP.

Kanoyton believes the Supreme Court reversing Roe will have a domino effect that's going to spill into other civil rights and civil liberties.

"I don't want to hear another person say, 'My vote doesn't count - why should I vote?' because all of our rights are at stake right now," said Kanoyton.

Among the pews sat Romana Rice, an abortion rights activist who believes abortion is essential healthcare that should be accessible to all.

"I have two daughters, and they deserve the full rights that their brother has, and right now my 15-year-old has more rights than I do," Rice said.

The ruling is leaving Rice at a loss for words.

"I cried. I did what Oprah would call the 'ugly cry,'" said Rice.

Meanwhile, some advocacy groups are celebrating following Friday's news.

"This was a historic watershed moment for our culture, our national law," said Candi Cushman with the Family Foundation of Virginia.

The organization's mission is to fight for the rights of the unborn. Cushman said the foundation is happy that the decision moves the power from un-elected judges and puts it back into the hands of Virginians.

"When the governor said he's going to take steps towards that, then we want to support whatever can be done to save those lives," Cushman said.

As adults and youth hold up signs to fight for their reproductive rights, the main message at the rally is to vote.

NAACP leaders tell News 3 Monday's rally is only the beginning on what's more to come as they continue to let their voices ring, and anti-abortion activists who are part of the Family Foundation of Virginia say their group is ready to support Gov. Glenn Youngkin and other state lawmakers to pass legislation to ban abortion.

Related: Advocates in Williamsburg gather in solidarity after Roe v. Wade overturned