Elise Rich-Colton, 36, of Waterville, right, joins a rally Monday on the Margaret Chase Smith Bridges in downtown Skowhegan to protest the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion. Taylor Abbott/Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN — Carly McCabe said she felt helpless Friday when the Supreme Court of the United States announced it had overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion.

The new ruling allowed several states to move forward with legislation either heavily restricting access to abortion or criminalizing the procedure altogether. A 1993 state law allows access to abortion in Maine.

“I felt sick,” McCabe said. “I couldn’t have imagined that we were living in a world like this, where I didn’t have autonomy over my body. We pride ourselves on being the freest country in the world, and here we are with guns having more rights than women.”

McCabe, 16, decided to organize an abortion rights rally Monday on the Margaret Chase Smith Bridges in Skowhegan.

“I felt really helpless, as somebody who is not 18 and can’t vote,” McCabe said. “If I lived in one of those … states where abortion is illegal, I would not be able to vote, but I would be forced to have a baby, which doesn’t make sense.”

About two dozen people lined the sidewalks and carried signs whose messages included “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and “You Can Only Ban Safe Abortion.”


The rally in Skowhegan was one of several across the state over the past few days in response to the Supreme Court decision.

“My rights and the rights of my sister, my mother, my friends and any other American woman are under threat right now,” McCabe said. “It’s very scary to think about and to go back to a pre-Roe world full of unsafe abortions and women’s lives being put in danger.”

For Elise Rich-Colton, 36, of Waterville, the court decision came as a surprise, even though a draft of the opinion written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito was leaked more than a month ago.

“The panic set in a little bit with the leak. That was enough to have some concern,” Rich-Colton said. “Hearing the decision was kind of a shock. I was having a conversation with my mom about it. This (access) has been taken for granted my whole life. I’ve never had to worry too much about it. The threat was there, but it was never a reality that this would be taken away in my lifetime.”

Rich-Colton said she attended a similar rally Saturday in Waterville.

“We gotta show up, man,” she said. “You want to keep the momentum.”

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