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Scranton rally warns Donald Trump will damage more women's rights if he's re-elected

Vanessa Sheridan, 28, of Scranton, warns re-electing President Donald Trump would further erode women's rights during a rally marking the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs vs. Jackson ruling that overturned the court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling. Roe vs. Wade guaranteed women nationwide the the right to choose an abortion. Dobbs vs. Jackson allowed states to decide if a woman should have the right to choose. From left are nurse Jennifer Partyka, Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, Sheridan, and former teacher Susie Connors, the wife of former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors.
Borys Krawczeniuk
/
WVIA News
Vanessa Sheridan, 28, of Scranton, warns re-electing President Donald Trump would further erode women's rights during a rally marking the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs vs. Jackson ruling that overturned the court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling. Roe vs. Wade guaranteed women nationwide the right to choose an abortion. Dobbs vs. Jackson allowed states to decide if a woman should have the right to choose. From left are nurse Jennifer Partyka, Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, Sheridan, and former teacher Susie Connors, the wife of former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors.

Vanessa Sheridan vividly remembers the day the Supreme Court overturned a woman’s right to choose an abortion in any state.

Sheridan, 28, a Dallas native who lives in Scranton, explained what she felt that day to more than a dozen abortion rights supporters gathered on Courthouse Square in Scranton to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

“It was a moment that felt like a gut punch coming from Donald Trump and his supreme court justices. And after two years, that feeling hasn't changed,” Sheridan said. “As a young person, Donald Trump's repeal of Roe vs. Wade was a betrayal. I grew up learning about how monumental Roe vs. Wade was for women in America, only for it to be bulldozed by one man, Donald Trump and his war against women.”

Though Trump recently said he wouldn’t sign a national abortion ban, Sheridan said she fears he will. She urged voters to back President Joe Biden, long an abortion rights supporter.

“And we need to make our voices heard by coming to the polls and bringing our sisters, our mothers, our friends, our grandmothers, and the men who respect us with us,” Sheridan said.

Susie Connors, the wife of former Scranton Mayor Jim Connors, said she chose to end three ectopic pregnancies long ago. She fears such procedures and in vitro fertilization could be outlawed if Trump wins.

“I'm sure there are many women out there who are Republican who cannot conceive and who would want IVF,” Connors said.

Trump has said he supports IVF, though some right-wing Republicans and the Catholic Church oppose the procedure. Senate Republicans voted against protecting IVF and contraception earlier this month.

Jen Partyka, a nurse, said Trump’s return could jeopardize women’s health.

“For these women who are facing these difficult pregnancies, this is a daily struggle,” Partyka said. “Yet Donald Trump celebrates his abortion bans that forced doctors to choose between providing women the care they need or risking literal jail time. This is unfathomable to me.”

Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti said a second Trump presidency would further erode women’s rights.

“This is about much more than abortion, it's about much more than then contraception. It's more about IVF. It's about control. It's about controlling women, it's about controlling an economy for the select few that has been controlling of our economy in our society for since time immemorial. We cannot let that happen,” she said.

Efforts to obtain comment from the Trump campaign were unsuccessful.

Borys joins WVIA News from The Scranton Times-Tribune, where he served as an investigative reporter and covered a wide range of political stories. His work has been recognized with numerous national and state journalism awards from the Inland Press Association, Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, Society of Professional Journalists and Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association.

You can email Borys at boryskrawczeniuk@wvia.org