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Tufts Medical Center walkout highlights support for abortion rights

The rally Friday comes in the wake of national demonstrations condemning the Supreme Court’s leaked draft supporting the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Tufts medical student Emma Mitchell-Sparke leads a chant while attending a rally in front of Tufts Medical Center on Friday. Staff and students held a walk out and rally in protest of the leaked draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Dozens of workers and students at Tufts Medical Center walked out on Friday in support of abortion rights, which, according to a recently leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion, are under threat.

Tufts staff and students walked out onto Washington Street in downtown Boston at noon on Friday, holding signs and chanting in support of women’s right to abortion. The catalyst for the demonstration was a draft opinion leaked two weeks ago indicating that the Supreme Court is considering overturning the monumental 1973 Roe vs. Wade case, which made abortion legal. 

An online flyer for the rally urged supporters to “come and make your voice heard on the conservative court’s plan to strip abortion rights.” The demonstration included speakers from the Tufts community, as well as a short march.

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The Tufts pro-choice walkout is not the first Boston’s seen since the leak. Thousands turned out for demonstrations at the State House and Harvard yard in recent weeks. Students from at least two local schools also walked out of class on Friday in support of abortion rights, according to a Boston Globe report

Friday’s Tufts demonstration drew chants such as, “Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate” and “When women’s/trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

A first-year Tufts medical student told the Globe she attended Friday’s rally to show her “utter anger and disbelief with this country.”

“This so deeply affects our care of everyone,” said student Emma Mitchell-Sparke. “I think it’s a vulnerable attack on reproductive choice and women’s rights, and it’s going to so negatively affect so many women, especially black women.”

Tufts Medical Center’s parent company told the Globe it stands “with our colleagues across the country who work daily to help individuals with reproductive decisions.”

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