Around 300 demonstrators gathered outside the federal courthouse in Portland Tuesday evening to protest a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

On Monday, Politico said it obtained the initial draft majority opinion, which was signed by Justice Samuel Alito.

Demonstrators protest outside the federal courthouse in Portland on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, against a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote, according to Politico. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Speakers with bullhorns, including City Councilor Victoria Pelletier and local Planned Parenthood spokesperson Nicole Clegg, urged the crowd to pressure lawmakers to keep abortion legal.

Demonstrators protest outside the federal courthouse in Portland on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, against a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The protest lasted most of an hour and ended with the crowd chanting slogans including “abortion is health care” and “abortion is a human right.”

After the initial rally, demonstrators marched through the streets of Portland.

In Bangor, about 50 people gathered outside the federal courthouse on Harlow Street armed with signs to voice their opposition to the potential overturning. Demonstrators would occasionally walk up and hug one another as those around them chanted slogans emphasizing a person’s right to choose what happens to their body.

Protestors gathered outside the federal courthouse on Harlow Street in Bangor May 3, 2022, to voice their opposition to the potential U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

Abbie Strout-Bentes, director of Education and Community Engagement for the Mabel Wadsworth Center and an organizer of Bangor’s rally, told the crowd that the center was ready to provide whatever resources needed for those impacted if the landmark Supreme Court decision is overturned.

Rep. Amy Roeder, D-Bangor, told the gathered crowd that more needs to be done at the state level to protect a woman’s right to choose. One of those things is to run for office, especially if you’re a woman, Roeder said.

Protestors gathered outside the federal courthouse on Harlow Street in Bangor May 3, 2022, to voice their opposition to the potential U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

“It’s getting lonely in the State House,” she said.

Hannah Devoe said access to abortions isn’t an issue just for women. Transgender women, like Devoe, use clinics  to receive hormonal replacement therapy through Mabel Wadsworth, which she couldn’t find elsewhere if the clinic were forced to shut down due to anti-abortion laws.

Gov. Janet Mills has vowed to defend abortion rights saying late Monday night that the Supreme Court’s apparent decision casts a cloud of uncertainty over “countless women across Maine and America who are worried right now” about access to abortion services.

Demonstrators protest outside the federal courthouse in Portland on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, against a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

“Well, I want to be very clear: unlike an apparent majority of the Supreme Court, I do not consider the rights of women to be dispensable. And I pledge that as long as I am Governor, I will fight with everything I have to protect reproductive rights and to preserve access to reproductive health care in the face of every and any threat to it — whether from politicians in Augusta or Supreme Court Justices in Washington,” Mills said.

Avatar photo

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.

Avatar photo

Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is a reporter covering Old Town, Orono and the surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he's worked for Vermont Public Radio, The...