GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A rally in support of women’s rights to abortion and reproductive healthcare is being organized for this Saturday in City Park, in response to the news last week that the United States Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade. New York State Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and a representative from Planned Parenthood will be in attendance. Protesters are invited to gather at City Park at 4 p.m. this Saturday, following Pet Fest.
The rally is being organized by city resident Enid Mastrianni, who has years of experience speaking up in support of Planned Parenthood – all right in Glens Falls. In 2013, she took action against a group that vocally opposed the Planned Parenthood facility that operated on Warren Street.
“There was a period when some entity bought the building next door,” Mastrianni recalled on Thursday. “They installed a kids playground that they would climb on and yell directly at people leaving or entering the building. I’m friends with a librarian who combed through the city code, and found that (the playground) was an accessory structure, which has to be 5 feet from the property line. It was in violation.”
Since then, Mastrianni also organized the 2017 Glens Falls women’s march, which saw over 1,000 people march in support of women’s and reproductive rights following the 2016 Presidential election. She’s also the creator of the private Facebook group “Glens Falls Planned Parenthood Counterprotest Get Your Girl On,” and says that 50 RSVPs have already been logged there for Saturday’s event, out of the 700 women in the group.
Mastrianni expects support to be strong on Saturday, not just because of the social media response. When a draft ruling leaked last week showing that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn the 1973 decision protecting Federal abortion rights, she put out a call to gather at City Hall in protest at 4 p.m. that day. By 5 p.m., even at short notice, she had gathered a group of 25 people.
“People are passionate about this issue. It makes us second-class citizens,” she said. “Are we going to go back to the days when women would have 10, 11, 12, 13 kids? Give me a break.”
This week, further action continued on Roe v. Wade. U.S. Senate members on Wednesday blocked legislation that would protect existing federal safeguards on abortion. A rally in support of Roe v. Wade was held in Albany last week.
Mastrianni said that if counterprotesters come to City Park on Saturday, she will be asking rally attendees to ignore them. Groups in support of President Donald Trump appeared at some rallies and protests in 2017-19, which became the subject of permit law passed by the city in 2020.