Abortion rights advocates took to the streets across the US on Saturday to express their anger at the prospect that the Supreme Court would soon repeal the constitutional right to abortion. The cries of “My body, my choice” rang out as activists pledged to fight for what they called reproductive freedom.
Jump up after a Leaked draft comments suggested a conservative majority on the court would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade landmark, activists rallied to express their outrage and campaign for the future as Republican-led states poised to enact tighter restrictions.
In the nation’s capital, thousands gathered in drizzly weather at the Washington Monument to listen to fiery speeches before marching to the Supreme Court, which is now surrounded by two security fence layer.
The mood is one of anger and defiance.
“I can’t believe that at my age, I still have to oppose this,” said Samantha Rivers, a 64-year-old federal government employee preparing for an interstate battle over abortion rights.
Caitlin Loehr, 34, of Washington, wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s “dissident” collar and a necklace that read “vote”.
“I think that women should have the right to choose what to do with their bodies and their lives,” Loehr said. “And I don’t think banning abortion is going to end abortion. It’s just unsafe and can be dangerous,” Loehr said. make the woman pay with her life”.
More than half a dozen anti-abortion protesters sent out a protest message in which Jonathan Darnel shouted into the microphone, “Abortion is not health care, friends, because pregnancy is not a medical condition. sick”.
From Pittsburgh to Pasadena, California, and Nashville, Tennessee, to Lubbock, Texas, tens of thousands of people attended “Bans off our Bodies” events. Organizers expect that of the hundreds of events, the biggest will take place in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities.
“If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they’ll get,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of Women’s March.
Polls show that most Americans want to maintain access to abortion – at least in the early stages of pregnancy – but the Supreme Court appears poised to let states have the final say. If that happens, about half of the states, mainly in the South and Midwest, are expected to quickly ban abortion.
The battle was personal for some protesters.
Teisha Kimmons, who traveled 80 miles to attend the rally in Chicago, said she fears for women in states willing to ban abortion. She said she might not be alive today if she hadn’t had a legal abortion when she was 15.
“I’ve started self-harming and I’d rather die than give birth,” says Kimmons, a massage therapist from Rockford, Illinois.
At that rally, speaker after speaker told the crowd that if abortion was banned, the rights of immigrants, minorities and others would also be “gutted out,” like Amy Eshleman, wife. of Chicago Mayor Lori said.
“This was never just about abortion. It was about control,” Eshleman told a crowd of thousands. “My marriage is on the menu and we can’t and won’t let that happen,” she added.
In New York, thousands gathered in Brooklyn court square ahead of a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan, where another protest was planned.
“We’re here for the women who can’t be here and the girls are too young to know what lies ahead,” Angela Hamlet, 60, of Manhattan, said amid a boom in music. .
Robin Seidon, who traveled from Montclair, New Jersey, for the protest, said the country is a place that abortion rights advocates have long feared.
“They’ve been gnawing on the edges, and it’s always a matter of time before they think they have enough power over the Supreme Court, which they already have,” Seidon, 65, said. .
The upcoming high court ruling in a case from Mississippi is to energize voters, potentially shaping the upcoming midterm elections.
In Texas, where the law prohibits many abortions, the challenger to one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress marched in San Antonio.
Jessica Cisneros joined the protesters just days before early voting began in the primary vote against US Representative Henry Cuellar. The race could be one of the first tests of whether the court leak will excite voters.
In Chicago, Kjirsten Nyquist, a 1- to 3-year-old daughter toning nurse, agreed on the need to vote. “As with federal elections, voting in every small election is just as important,” she said.
Saturday’s protests come three days after the Senate failed to gather enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade. Sponsors include Women’s March, Move On, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, MoveOn, SEIU, and others.