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Hundreds of local students ‘walk out’ in support of Roe v. Wade

Hundreds of local students ‘walk out’ in support of Roe v. Wade
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:10 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tuesday, Tucson Unified School District’s Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo said TUSD students who leave for the rally for women’s reproductive rights at UArizona, will not be allowed back on campus for the day and they will get an unexcused absence with “no opportunity to make up work.”

This is finals week, but that did not stop students, who took the risk.

“The Superintendent’s letter definitely got us a lot more publicity,” said TUSD student and protest organizer Helene Saleska.

Hundreds of students from 17 high schools in Southern Arizona gathered at UArizona, protesting the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade.

One by one, students took to the mic.

“We cannot cave the minds of the Supreme Court. We cannot go in there and vote. We obviously do not have any power,” said one student speaker.

But they are using one powerful tool, their voice.

“Sick white men and sick men, five of them being white are making rules on our bodies. How is that allowed?” said another student speaker.

“It is amazing to see so many people who finally got some closure and speaking their minds especially those who have not been able to speak out before felt comfortable,” said a student.

Katt Kestler attended the protest Wednesday. She said she came out in support of women’s rights.

The 68-year-old got pregnant at 19-years-old and had an abortion. She said she doesn’t regret it, because she was young and saw her older sister stay with an abusive man just because they had a baby together.

Kestler eventually got married and now has two children.

“I wanted to have my family when it was the right husband and the right father,” she said.

While Kestler is in favor of what these students are doing, woman Val Garcias is not.

“I think they are brainwashed, and I think the system has guided them to the wrong path,” she said.

She added she stands firm for her choice for pro-life.

“It is not right to kill a baby. I am here to protect the babies who cannot protect themselves,” she said.

Organizers said after the protest they were blown away by the turnout.

“Because so many news articles and news organizations talk about the draft overturning Roe v. Wade is impacting adults or parents but not about impact teenagers and our lives. It is. It greatly is impacting our lives and telling us our futures do not matter if we get pregnant. So, the fact that we are getting coverage on something that is so important. It is making us so angry and frustrated is amazing because people know how we feel,” one said.

Organizers said this is not the first or last time a protest supporting Roe v. Wade will be held and said, it is just the beginning.

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