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Western New York reacts to reversal of Roe v. Wade

As some celebrated, others were completely devastated.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There has been a great deal of conversation about the Supreme Court's ruling, what it means, what it will mean across the country, and here in Western New York. 

On one side, there's celebration.

That includes New York State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy, who says this is a "positive direction for our country." 

"Today's ruling was honestly, justice was served. We've had a very controversial decision with Roe v. Wade many times. It's cost 63 million, innocent babies their lives. Now we have a victory for federalism but a victory for the sanctity for human life," Langworthy said. 

On the other side of this, there are some people devastated by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, like Liz Woods of Niagara Falls. 

Woods was in her teens back when Roe v. Wade was put into law.

Now she's angry and feels like she's going back in time instead of forward. 

"When I got up this morning and saw that it really happened, the supreme court really decided that women don't have rights to their own bodies but just the other day, the supreme court decided that states don't have the right to enact gun control, that's angering," Woods said. 

"It's not just sad, it's sickening that my granddaughters, I do have great granddaughters, I have three. They have less rights in this country in 2022 than I had in 1973," she said.

One of those who was upset by the ruling on Friday, and felt compelled to do something about it, was Newfane's Katherine LaFever. She is staying with her sister for the summer in Washington, D.C.

The two decided to make posters Friday morning, and later in the day they went to protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court. 

LaFever says she's one of the fortunate ones to live in New York, where abortions are still protected. 

"Some people are not fortunate enough to be able to travel to other states, or don't have friends and family, so I know that I'm very privileged and lucky that if that ever happened to me, I would have the opportunity. But a lot of people aren't that privileged and don't have those opportunities, so it's really sad for them," LaFever said.

"It shouldn't take having a mom or a sister or a daughter or a girlfriend or a wife or whatever to care about what's happening to women," LaFever said. 

"But realistically, a lot of people don't care unless they do have those women in their lives, and I wish they would speak up and they would make their voices heard, and they would stand up for the women in their lives. Having a kid is a two person job and it doesn't just affect the women, so I wish more men would speak up and stand up for the women."

Planned Parenthood is already seeing cancellations across the country, but not here in New York State where abortions are still legal.

"I just got off a call with some of my colleagues across the country. There are several states where people were scheduled for abortion care today that has been canceled. People who had the beginning parts of the procedure already started so this is impacting real people, right now, today, on the ground. It's just hard to think about how their lives will be forever impacted," said Michelle Casey, president of Planned Parenthood of CNY & WNY.

She says Planned Parenthood of CNY & WNY sees about 35,000 to 40,000 patients a year. Of those, about 7,000 receive abortion care. 

"Women are being now treated as second-class citizens not only, but their status as second-class citizens is essentially codified into law with the reversal of this ruling and so we cannot pride ourselves on a country and have any semblance of national pride when we subjugate women in this way and we strip them of their basic human rights which is essentially what this ruling has done," Kyle Sobon of Kenmore said. 

Langworthy added: "This is not about second-class citizenship. This is about how science has come so far. We know that babies are viable at 22 or 23 weeks at this point. This is going to save many lives. We have other opportunities, adoption."

The Catholic Bishops of New York State also released a lengthy statement Friday saying many lives will be saved and "today our voice has been heard."

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