WASHINGTON (AP) – Abortion rights advocates protesting at hundreds of rallies and demonstrations on Saturday expressed their outrage that the Supreme Court would soon repeal the constitutional abortion right that has existed for nearly half a century. their selfishness and fears about what could mean for women’s reproductive choices.
Emotional after the leaked draft opinion suggested that the court’s conservative majority would overturn the Roe v. Wade landmark, activists talk of the need to mobilize quickly as Republican-led states are poised to enact tighter restrictions.
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In the nation’s capital, thousands gathered in drizzly weather at the Washington Monument to hear fiery speeches before marching to the Supreme Court, which is surrounded by two layers of fences. security.
The mood at the time was anger and defiance, three days after the Senate failed to gather enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade.
“I can’t believe that at my age I still have to oppose this,” said Samantha Rivers, a 64-year-old federal government employee who is preparing for an interstate battle over abortion rights.
Caitlin Loehr, 34, of Washington, wore a black T-shirt emblazoned with the “dissident” collar of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a necklace that read “vote”.
“I think women should have the right to choose what to do with their bodies and their lives. And I don’t think banning abortion will end abortion. It just makes it unsafe and can cost a woman her life,” says Loehr.
More than half a dozen anti-abortion protesters sent a protest message in which Jonathan Darnel shouted into the microphone, “People, abortion is not healthcare, because pregnancy is not a disease.” .
From Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, 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 the 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 said that banning abortion would jeopardize the rights of immigrants, minorities, and others, like Amy Eshleman, the mayor’s wife. Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, said.
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“This was never just about abortion. It’s about control,” Eshleman told the crowd of thousands. “My marriage is on the menu and we can’t and won’t let that happen.”
In New York, thousands gathered in Brooklyn court square ahead of a march across the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan for another protest.
“We’re here for the women who can’t be here, and the girls are too young to know what lies ahead,” said Angela Hamlet, 60, of Manhattan, as the music boomed. explode.
Robin Seidon, who traveled from Montclair, New Jersey, for the protest, said the country is a place that abortion rights advocates have long feared.
Seidon, 65, said: “They gnawed the edges, and it was always a matter of time before they thought they had enough power over the Supreme Court, which they already had.
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 joins protesters just days before early voting begins in her first vote against US Representative Henry Cuellar, which could be one of the first tests of whether the court leak excites 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.
At many rallies, speakers took the matter seriously, saying that women and girls would die if abortion was outlawed.
In Los Angeles, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred recounts how she was unable to legally have an abortion after being raped with a gun in the 1960s. She ended up suffering life-threatening bleeding after an illegal abortion. legal in the “alley”.
“I want you to vote as if your life depended on it, because they do,” she told the crowd.
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Sharp reports from Portland, Maine. Associated Press writers Don Babwin in Chicago, David Porter in New York, Paul Weber in San Antonio, and Jacquelyn Martin, Gary Fields, and Anna Johnson in Washington contributed to this report.
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/05/14/abortion-rights-backers-rally-in-anger-over-post-roe-future/ Abortion Rights Backers Rally In Anger Over Post-Roe Future – CBS Baltimore