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JMU students rally for abortion rights

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Randi B. Hagi
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In the wake of the Supreme Court's draft opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade, James Madison University students led a march on Monday afternoon in support of abortion rights. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

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Randi B. Hagi
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JMU junior Caroline Benczkowski

MARCHERS CHANTING: Hey hey! Ho ho! Your backwards views have got to go!

The students coalesced on the college quad and marched towards downtown, picking up townies as they went. When the group reached City Hall, they numbered around 175. There, local politicians and community organizers including Andrea Jackson also took up the megaphone.

ANDREA JACKSON: Research your candidates. Keep the pressure on them. If you don't like the stance that they're making, you push them to do what you want to do. Because this is our country. This is not politicians' country. This is our country! [cheers]

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Randi B. Hagi
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Local organizer Andrea Jackson spoke at the rally

Kristen Essex, a JMU senior, attended out of personal conviction.

KRISTEN ESSEX: I've had friends who've had to make the choice, and I can't imagine if they were forced to do something that they weren't ready for.

Local resident Becca Howes-Mischel was there to support the student-led activism.

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Randi B. Hagi
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Local resident Becca Howes-Mischel was there to support the student-led activism.

BECCA HOWES-MISCHEL: This is a community that supports reproductive justice and opposes what many people think is going to be a pretty cataclysmic Supreme Court decision coming out in June.

Abby Dotson, a freshman pre-nursing major from Richmond, organized the event.

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Randi B. Hagi
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Abby Dotson organized the event. She's a freshman pre-nursing major from Richmond.

ABBY DOTSON: We need representation in the communities that we're in … We live in such a great community here in Harrisonburg. People are very receptive, people care for our community of college students, and it's no lie that many sexual assaults and rapes happen on college campuses, and so abortion is kind of a hot topic, if you will, for college students. So it's important that their voices are heard.

MARCHERS CHANTING: My body, my choice!

There were no counter protestors in sight.