RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tuesday night's protest of a potential reversal of the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973 popped up organically. It was spurred by a few tweets and a lot of word of mouth. It grew into hundreds of women (and a few men) from across the Triangle, at one point, marching straight down Fayetteville Street to protest what they called a direct attack on women's rights to control their bodies.
They descended on downtown Raleigh from all walks of life; from 20-somethings to more senior demonstrators like Betty Lazo, who has been fighting the battles over abortion in America for decades.
"I'm 90 years old," said Lazo who was on the frontlines of the 1970s protests to legalize abortion in the run-up to Roe vs. Wade. On Tuesday night, with Roe on the ropes -- Lazo was marching again.
"It's always worth it to stand up for what you believe. And I believe women should have control of their own bodies," Lazo said.
With Raleigh police blocking downtown streets, marchers circled several blocks. It was a peaceful march dotted with a few dust-ups with anti-abortion advocates -- who were quickly shouted down.
"I felt I had to make my voice heard as somebody who believes this is the wrong decision and that it will take us backwards and endanger lives; maternal lives, fetal lives, all kinds of lives," said Beth Mann, a nursing student from Durham.
Alayna Moore, a Wilmington-born undergrad at NC State is just 20 years old. Federally-legalized abortion became the law of the land three decades before she was even born.
"It's crazy (to think a protest like this is necessary)," Moore said. "It's really disappointing. But it's powerful to be out here, too."
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At one point the march stopped outside the state capitol.
"Defend abortion. Today. Tomorrow!" demonstrators chanted in a symbolic message to lawmakers.
"It's a message to the people on Jones Street. And it's a message to those in Congress that they need to protect a woman's right to choose," said Dianna Wynn from Cary.
There could be several immediate effects on North Carolina if Roe is overturned. There wouldn't be an immediate abortion ban here. But, a state law banning abortion after 20 weeks would likely be allowed to take effect. It had been struck down because it violated Roe vs. Wade.