A crowd gathered to protest the decision to overturn Roe V Wade in Downtown San Luis Obispo Friday evening.
Planned Parenthood originally thought that around 100 people would show up, but the crowd ended up being much larger than that with at least 500 in attendance.
“There’s power in numbers and I think it would be a shame not to be here,” said Cal Poly Student Cammy Okmin.
Hundreds gathered at the front steps of San Luis Obispo County Superior Court to voice their support for abortion rights.
“Our presence is an act of love and solidarity with people who are being harmed by this decision,” said Okmin.
A portion of Monterey Street was blocked off as city leaders cleared the way for the rally.
“I think that with the release of this resolution, people are more activated, people are really taking it seriously,” said Serrina Ruggles, Director of Operations for the Gala Pride and Diversity Center. “People are scared, people are mad and they’re ready to stand up for what they believe in.”
Protesters say they stand in solidarity with women in other states where abortion will soon be restricted or banned.
“It’s a personal attack on myself, it’s a personal attack on any woman and it’s a personal attack on any man that has a woman in his life that he cares about,” said Chrissy, who did not wish to be identified by her last name.
Abortion will remain legal in California, but the Golden State could see an influx of people from out of state.
“California is here, we’re open for support for people who need to come here to access care,” said Morro Bay City Councilwoman Dawn Addis, who is also running for state assembly.
Those who attended the “Vigil for Roe” stressed the importance of political engagement and described what they plan to do moving forward.
“It’s letting people know that we’re here, we’re together,” said Addis. “We have to continue to take action.”
“It looks like constant and active support in forms of protest, donations, calling and emailing legislators and having an active stance in local politics,” said San Luis Obispo resident Kalea Conrad.
Monterey Street reopened a few hours later and aside from a few brief shouting matches, the event was relatively calm.