After a leaked opinion draft revealed the Supreme Court’s apparent intention to repeal Roe v. Wade, activists and allies called emergency actions across the country. On Tuesday in New York, protesters rallied in Manhattan’s Foley Square before blocking streets and marching to Washington Square Park. Natalie Keyssar, a Brooklyn-based documentary photographer, captured the scene.
I was on a flight back to the U.S. when I heard the news. Those of us who have been paying attention have anticipated this from the Supreme Court for some time, but it’s just painful news for women everywhere. I got to the protest Tuesday evening, and there was a sea of people around Foley Square, most of them wearing green. There was a real solemnity to what I was seeing — it was a very quiet crowd. At one point, a speaker was telling her own story of having difficulties finding access to a legal abortion when she was an early college student and how painful it was. I think that story resonated with everybody there.
You really could have heard a pin drop even though there were thousands of people. I saw tears welling up in other women’s eyes, and I could feel them welling up in my own. I was really thinking about photographing that communal experience. I feel as though there was almost the same set of emotions on so many different faces. There was anger, fear, profound sadness, outrage, anxiety. It’s a horror movie to imagine being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. I was thinking really hard about how to show what we’re feeling in these images — beyond just the fact that, of course, we’re fucking pissed off.