'We're very angry': Downtown businesswomen close up shop following Roe decision

Nolan Lister

A group of women business owners closed their downtown Helena storefronts Friday afternoon following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that overturned the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision and eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion.

“Every single one of us scheduled for the morning shift arrived sobbing,” Montana Book Co. Assistant Manager Abby Shea Pigott said. “I just don’t think given this morning’s decision we can be expected to provide stellar customer service.”

The women said the decision to close their businesses for the day gave their employees time and space to grieve but also sends a message.

“Asking my female staff in particular to continue serving drinks today felt inappropriate to be honest,” General Mercantile owner Lindsey Barnes said. “We’re very angry.”

The sign posted on the Merc’s door at noon Friday read, “We went to sleep as equal humans in the eyes of the State and woke up as property. We don’t feel like making coffee. We’re going to rest today and fight tomorrow.”

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