WASHINGTON – Abortion rights advocates gathered in the nation’s capital and capital buildings across the country on Saturday for a challenging task: convincing the Supreme Court not to overturn 50 precedent. year set by Roe v. Wade.
After hearing speeches about abortion–human rights activists, elected officials and faith leaders in the nation’s capital, thousands of protesters began an hour-long march to the Supreme Court under skies over cloudy and occasional drizzle, joining hundreds of other protesters already there.
Many attendees wore ponchos and carried umbrellas and shouted chants like “take your hands off our bodies” and “we’ll fight back” to the beat of bucket drums. Some said they doubt the conservative Supreme Court will change course and vote in favor of Roe v. Wade But they say they want their voices heard.
“We can put pressure on them,” said Sandra Harrington, 61, a retired public education administrator from Warrenton, Virginia. “Unfortunately, I think it’s a done deal, and I’m really upset about that.”
More than 380 “Forbidden From Our Bodies” protests for abortion rights are planned for Saturday. Sponsors of the day-long event include Women’s March, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet, MoveOn, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Abortion Rights Action League Nation.
Planned Parenthood began organizing “action days” across the country months before draft Supreme Court position that would overturn Roe v. Wade’s 1973 decision leak, spark celebration of anti-abortion protesters and Protests outside the Supreme Courtcurrently surrounded by a security fence, and house of justice.
Before Saturday’s protest, Senate fails to pass bill that would protect abortion rights nationwide.
More than 1,000 protesters gathered in Nashville, Tennessee’s Legislative Plaza Saturday afternoon, with additional protests scheduled across the state.
Amy Griffith says she’s a Catholic but doesn’t believe abortion should be outlawed.
“We are not a theocracy,” she said, repeating the sign she was carrying.
Her daughter Leah Griffith said public support was largely in favor of keeping abortion legal, pointing out Recent polls show that more than half of Americans support it. She also said she fears that states banning abortion will only make it unsafe, especially for people who don’t have the resources to access it in other states.
“It’s going to happen regardless of whether it’s legal or not,” Leah Griffith said while holding a sign with a snake in the shape of a womb that read, “Don’t step on me.”
Seeta Begui, one of the speakers at Saturday’s protest in Viera, Floridasaid a formative experience in her childhood occurred when a family member died in Trinidad and Tobago following a “backstreet” abortion.
“We are still fighting for reproductive rights. We cannot allow hate, ignorance and misinformation to win,” she said. “We won’t go back.”
Hundreds of people gathered in Fort Collins’ Old Town Square in Colorado for a rally that featured dozens of speakers including a labor and delivery nurse working in the pre-Roe world, several abortion rights advocates and elected officials.
Many people carried homemade signs with hangers that said, “Never again” or phrases like: “Shame on SCOTUS”, “Accept my existence or expect resistance” and “Women are the property of no one.” Protests have also been planned in Colorado Springs and Denver.
Annmarie Izuel Evans, vice president of National Women’s Organization NoCo, who helped plan and conduct the event, said it was “horrifying” that protesters had to gather today.
“Roe v. Wade was signed into law in 1973,” she told the crowd. “We need to unite, we need to campaign, we need to act and, I will say this throughout the day, we need to vote.”
About 400 people rally before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, including mother and daughter. Pink was the dominant color of the day, with t-shirts sporting messages including “Out of Our Bodies” and signs reading “Abolish the Supreme Court” and “Abortion is Care.” health”.
Across the street from the protest, Margo Weiss and her 3-year-old daughter, Amelie, painted a giant mural in primary colors that read “Forbid us to go”.
“This issue is important to me,” says Margo Weiss. “It’s good to show our children what’s possible if you use your voice.”
Deborah O’Brien was one of hundreds of protesters who gathered with flags, signs and coat hangers outside the Ohio State House.
“I can’t believe we’ve come back like this again,” said the 70-year-old. “I’m really, really upset.”
Crowds blocked the streets just outside the Statehouse and chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the abortion ban must be enforced.” Anti-abortion advocates, including the group “Created Equal”, also organized signs outside the rally, with photos of aborted fetuses.
In Austin, Texas, Protesters stand on the steps of the Texas Capitol drumming, singing and repeating verses like “abortion is a human right”, KVUE reported. Texas recently passed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion bans, Prohibit the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy.
In New York, thousands gathered in Brooklyn court square before marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan, where another protest is expected.
Teisha Kimmons, who traveled 80 miles to attend a 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.
In Washington, a single anti-abortion activist stood on the sidelines with a megaphone shouting, “They’re not your body,” but marchers shouted louder to drown him.
Jen Giordano, 51, a salesperson from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, on Saturday morning to attend the DC rally, said: “I’m here for my daughter and my daughter.
Deborah Stoll, 70, a retired clinical psychologist from Takoma Park, Maryland, carries a handmade sign that reads, “The hardest decision a woman can make is not yours. .”
Protesters anticipate more demonstrations, especially after the Supreme Court issues its final ruling on Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks as some state legislatures consider outright bans.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., told a crowd of Republicans in Washington that there would likely be a nationwide ban on abortion, bypassing the states that allow it. Thanking the crowd for “legitimate outrage”, Lee said “we fought these battles 50 years ago”, but they will have to do the same again.
“We all know that these are crisis times,” Lee said.
Contributors: Rachel Wegner, Molly Davis, The Tennessean; Molly Bohannon, Fort Collins Coloradoan; Thomas Hanks, The Columbus Dispatch; Linda Borg, Providence Magazine; Related press