NORTHAMPTON — Generation Ratify Amherst and local high schooler Alice Jenkins spearheaded a “Bigger Than Roe” rally on the steps of Northampton City Hall on Jan. 20 to remind people that the fight for reproductive rights lives on.

The rally, which came two days before the 51st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to generally protect the right to abortion, was part of the Women’s March national weekend where multiple cities across the country participated in marches and rallies almost two years after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe V. Wade decision.

Among those who spoke during the Northampton rally were Deb Pastrich-Klemer, a Ward 2 Northampton city councilor and co-founder of Indivisible Northampton. According to Pastrich-Klemer, there are 22 states where people do not have access to abortion care, which directly affects around 18 million people.

“Access to safe and legal abortion is a fundamental human right,” said Pastrich-Klemer. “Politics should not interfere with this basic right, and we must demand that our elected officials prioritize the health and well-being of women and childbearing people.”

State Rep. Mindy Domb (D-Amherst) and state. Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton) spoke during the rally about the importance of voting, campaigning and supporting local organizations like the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts, Translate Gender and Generation Ratify Amherst during times like these.

Domb promised the crowd that Massachusetts will continue the fight to be a “free state.” The commonwealth is currently one of 24 states where abortion is legal.

“I want to just promise and commit that together we’re going to fight to keep Massachusetts a free state,” Domb said. “We’re going to make sure that it’s a free state for residents, visitors and providers of healthcare, reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care.”

The rally comes in the midst of two major Supreme Court cases that are on the horizon this term; one that concerns access to the abortion pill mifepristone and another that involves whether EMTALA, or the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act requires hospital emergency rooms to provide abortions in urgent circumstances, including when a woman’s health is threatened by continuing her pregnancy.

If ruled the wrong way, both cases could further jeopardize reproductive rights across the country. Sabadosa was particularly worried about the EMTALA case.

“States are asking the court to let people die rather than provide abortion care,” Sabadosa said, of the EMTALA case. “These elections matter so much more because these cases wouldn’t be going to the courts if we didn’t have bad legislators at the state level across the country.”

Sabadosa further emphasized the importance of voting to protect reproductive rights by sharing the story of Brittany Watts, the Ohio woman who was denied care at her local hospital for a miscarriage and was sent home three separate times.

Watts was then charged with abuse of fetal remains during a post-miscarriage follow-up. The Grand Jury eventually declined to indict her on Jan. 11, months after Ohio voters voted to protect abortion rights.

Had Ohio residents not voted this way, Watts may have suffered a different fate.

“They declined to press charges, and now she is free,” Sabadosa said. “And the difference was that election.”

Other advocates, including the Trans Youth Action Team – which is a local organization that is designed to encourage leadership to offer representation of trans and non-binary people in the community – made it clear that this fight goes beyond gender.

The representatives emphasized how trans people should also be included in conversations around reproductive health in America.

“Everyone, regardless of gender deserve access to reproductive healthcare,” said Rose, a representative from Trans Youth Action Team. “The reproductive rights of trans people are being taken away, and this needs to be a part of the conversation around reproductive justice.”

Other youth activists spoke during the rally, including Olive Paradise, a ninth grader at Amherst Regional High School and a member of Generation Ratify Amherst.

During her remarks, Paradise pondered the idea of a better future for her generation.

“We are here today living in a cold world,” Paradise said. “This world forces us to reaffirm our commitment to reproductive freedom and not stop until we win our rights. So, don’t stop. Stand up for your rights.”