What if birth control fails? That’s the scary reality that Beth Schafer’s daughters have pondered since a Supreme Court opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked.

“I’m horrified for my daughters, both of whom are in their 20s and both of whom have at different times talked about the efficacy of birth control and, ‘Oh my god, what if it doesn’t work? What life am I going to live?’” Schafer said Friday morning at a Jewish reproductive freedom rally in Midtown.

For her, abortion has two components: accessibility and morality. Accessibility, she argues, is the responsibility of the state to allow everyone equal access. The morality piece is deeply personal and driven by faith — something the government should not have a say in, Schafer says.

“Even though no faith is monolithic, and that we have people who have different beliefs about whether they would have an abortion themselves, that is not for our nation to legislate,” she said. “That is for individuals and their their traditions to decide for themselves.”

About 40 women and a few men gathered at The Temple in Midtown on Friday morning for a “Jewish Voices for Justice and Reproductive Freedom” rally. About four miles away, about 100 people, mostly men, gathered inside the state Capitol for the “Frontline Policy Action’s Fight for Life Event.”

According to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll in January, 68% of Georgians wanted the Supreme Court to maintain Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established abortion rights, while 24% wanted the decision overturned. A majority of Georgians opposed the state’s six-week limit.

ExploreLeaked abortion opinion could herald seismic changes in Georgia

Donna Boyer, along with other members of her church, International Gospel Outreach, argued that the leaked opinion should have never happened, causing a “crisis in America.” She heard about the rally at the Capitol from a friend and promptly put together signs stating “We are praying for our country” and “God is Pro Life.”

“God’s people need to stand for life,” Boyer said. “It’s important that we show love, show Jesus, and we stand for what he wants.”

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Donna Boyer (L), Brian Lawson, and Debora Rucker listen to the speakers during an anti-abortion press conference in the state capital Friday morning. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Donna Boyer (L), Brian Lawson, and Debora Rucker listen to the speakers during an anti-abortion press conference in the state capital Friday morning. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

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Donna Boyer (L), Brian Lawson, and Debora Rucker listen to the speakers during an anti-abortion press conference in the state capital Friday morning. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who is running for Secretary of State and spoke at the rally, said that abortion is a matter of life and death and argued that no one wants to be on the side of death.

“I know there were times during those battles that never ever could I dream that Roe v. Wade would actually be overturned,” he said. “We are on the threshold of seeing to seeing that and it’s emotional.”

Georgia Tech senior Dani Nadda, former president of Students For Life at the college, was overcome with emotion when she found out about the draft leak.

”This is what we’ve been fighting for years and years and years, decades upon decades just fighting to protect the unborn,” she said. “Seeing that this is a movement and a step in which our country may be changing was absolutely overwhelming to me.”

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Sherry Frank, co-president of the National Council of Jewish Women Atlanta Section, is seen at a rally in support of abortion held by the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women at The Temple in Atlanta on Friday, May 6, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Sherry Frank, co-president of the National Council of Jewish Women Atlanta Section, is seen at a rally in support of abortion held by the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women at The Temple in Atlanta on Friday, May 6, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
Sherry Frank, co-president of the National Council of Jewish Women Atlanta Section, is seen at a rally in support of abortion held by the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women at The Temple in Atlanta on Friday, May 6, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / arvin.temkar@ajc.com)

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

For those gathered at The Temple, the need to fight anew for reproductive rights seems absurd.

Lissie Stahlman decorated a pink straw hat with three abortion rights pins. She wore them back in 1989 after the Webster v. Reproductive Health Services decision, never thinking they would come out of her jar filled with other political pins she sported during the decades.

“It’s always the women who have the least resources, who have the biggest financial trouble, who may even be victims of domestic violence who are not going to be able to abort a pregnancy,” she said.

Carolyn Levant-Lee also emotionally said that she has fought this fight before.

“Now that they’re trying to destroy a piece of the Constitution, I’m not here just for the right to choose, but I feel that this is the beginning of the tearing down of many other rights,” she said. “This is just the start.”

Women are not the only ones impacted by the potential action. Michael Rowinsky said that when a past girlfriend got pregnant, neither was ready to start a family.

“It was an excruciating decision, but she had an abortion, and we went through the entire process together and perhaps love each other even more as a result,” he said.

Attendee Blair Marks said mothers with daughters are especially appalled at the notion of Roe v. Wade being stuck down.

“I grew up in a world as I came into my adulthood where this was not a question,” she said. “It is unthinkable to me that my daughter and my granddaughters at some point, or anyone else’s, would have to face the choice of, well, not having a choice.”

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People gather in small groups to pray during an anti-abortion press conference in the state capital Friday, May 6, 2022. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

People gather in small groups to pray during an anti-abortion press conference in the state capital Friday, May 6, 2022. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Combined ShapeCaption
People gather in small groups to pray during an anti-abortion press conference in the state capital Friday, May 6, 2022. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer