WATERVILLE — A growing crowd of demonstrators filled sidewalks Saturday in downtown Waterville, decrying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and declaring there is a recourse: a large voter turnout at the midterm elections.

Carrying signs that bore slogans such as “Abortion is Healthcare,” and “Keep Abortion Safe & Legal,” the men and women, some with children at their sides, waved as motorists tooted their horns in support of their messages.

Many were angry with U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who supported Brett Kavanaugh to be a Supreme Court Justice. Kavanaugh voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. “Shame on You, Sue Collins,” one sign said.

“People need to get out and vote,” Sidney resident Alan Tibbetts, 65, said as he held a sign bearing the words, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights. “Everybody needs to get out and vote. It’s very clear it’s not the lesser of two evils at this point. There are clear choices.”

Tibbetts said it is hard to believe Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“The Supreme Court seems to think things that are 50 years old aren’t historical,” he said. “If it’s not women’s rights, it’s common sense gun legislation and you only have to look a little bit further to see where this is going. If they can take away this right (abortion), they can take away the right for same sex marriage, they can take away the right to contraception. We just don’t know where it’s going to stop.”


Linda Woods of Oakland stood under a tree to get some shade in the 87-degree heat. She said the court’s decision is a step backward.

“It’s ridiculous,” Woods said. “I worry about the future for our young girls who are being denied the right to be able to make the choices they need for their own lives. I’m 71 years old so this has zero impact on me but it affects the young people who will not have the opportunity to choose their futures.”

Mindy Bergeron-Lawrence, who has been standing on the corner of Main and Elm streets around June 25 for 13 years advocating for reproductive rights, said it is horrifying to think the highest court in the land doesn’t think that women are full people, capable of making decisions and capable of controlling their own bodies.

“I remember when Mike Michaud was running for governor (in 2014) and Michelle Obama had come to Bangor,” Bergeron-Lawrence said. “I was volunteering for Planned Parenthood. This woman said to me, ‘It’s great you’re working with Planned Parenthood, but what are you going to do to prepare yourself when Roe v. Wade is overturned?’ She said she was learning to perform safe abortions so she could perform them when this happened. She thought it was inevitable. That stuck with me when Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court and when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.”

Bergeron-Lawrence, 37, said the court’s power in declaring a group of people — females — less than capable of controlling their bodies, is frightening. She said Collins is responsible for enabling the court’s decision.

“Susan Collins needs to be held accountable,” she said. “I’m sure she’s really concerned. Brett Kavanaugh lied to her. We all saw it.”


Former Waterville Mayor Karen Heck and her husband, Bruce Olson, waved to motorists who honked their horns. Olson was carrying a sign that said “Mind Your Own Uterus.”

“This has been coming for a long time and it’s hard to blame the younger generation for not being more active on this,” Olson, 68, said. “We did see this coming. It’s no surprise to anyone. We always talk about it as boiling a frog. You put a frog in a pot of water at room temperature and slowly increase the temperature and it happens so slowly that you don’t notice it and all of a sudden, it’s too late. From the outside, I think a lot of people saw this coming. Men haven’t been vocal enough — there’s no question about it. It’s sad that it takes a disaster like this to get people motivated.”

Mindy Bergeron-Lawrence, 37, of Winslow stands Saturday at the intersection of Main and Elm streets to protest to the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Heck, who was mayor for three years, from 2012 to 2014, attended the first march on Washington in 1987 where she advocated for reproductive rights. Heck has stood with Bergeron-Lawrence at the Waterville demonstrations since the inception.

“When I was mayor, she invited me to the first one,” Heck, 70, said. “I’ve been to every one. At most, there have been eight to 10 people. I love walking down here and seeing men and women.”

Like some other protesters Saturday, Heck pointed to Collins as playing a part in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“Why isn’t Susan Collins calling for the impeachment of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for lying about their adherence to precedent, lying to Congress?” she asked. “If we don’t take back the country in the midterms, blue Houses, Senates and state governance, we are on the brink of losing our democracy.”

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