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Protesters gather in downtown South Bend following leaked Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade

Gemma DiCarlo

About 50 people gathered in downtown South Bend this weekend to demonstrate in support of abortion rights.

The protest comes a week after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showed it likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, and follows others around the state and country.

Linda Scopelitis and Mary Ellen Hegedus were two of the protesters in the Jon R. Hunt Plaza on Saturday. They said they remember a time before the Roe v. Wade decision, when abortion was illegal in the U.S.

“We’ve lived through high school and college with women having to leave mid-semester to — quote unquote — ‘take care of their grandmother,’” or in college, ‘Oh, my daughter’s taking a semester abroad.’” Scopelitis said. “I don’t want to see that again.”

“We did this 50 years ago — why are we doing it again?” Hegedus added. “I thought things were going to get better for them. Not this.”

Scopelitis said she’s also concerned what overturning Roe v. Wade would mean for other controversial decisions, such as legalizing gay marriage and contraception.

Despite the leak, the court has yet to make an official decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which could overturn Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overturned, individual states would be allowed to entirely ban and criminalize abortion.

Indiana lawmakers have asked Gov. Eric Holcomb to call a special session in the event of an overturn, but Holcomb hasn’t said whether he’ll do so.

The court is expected to make a final decision on Dobbs this summer.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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