Abortion rights groups to rally in DC on Saturday

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Thousands of protesters are expected to march at rallies in Washington and cities across the country on Saturday in a national campaign to demand safe and legal access to abortion.

The Bans Off Our Bodies events, organized by various groups including the Women’s March and Planned Parenthood, are a direct response to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion indicating it is positioned to overturn Roe. against Wade, the 49-year-old decision that said the Constitution guarantees a person’s right to an abortion.

Kelley Robinson, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s demonstrations, said that since the draft was leaked, her organization has been hearing an “outcry” from people across the country.

“People are feeling anger. People are feeling anger. People are scared of what this means for them and for their state,” Robinson said, referring to a reversal of Roe and the possibility of prohibiting abortion. “We have been building a movement for years because we always knew that this was the plan of our opposition. Now they’re just saying the quiet part out loud.”

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Protesters will gather in Washington and at more than 380 events across the country, including in New York City, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles, organizers said, to send a strong message to leaders that most Americans support the defense. Roe. Leaders are encouraging supporters to share their own stories about having an abortion, support abortion clinics and funds, direct those in need to health centers that provide abortion services, and speak with friends and family about reproductive rights.

In DC, supporters will gather first at noon for a rally on the northeast side of the Washington Monument before marching at 2 pm to the Supreme Court. Organizers expect more than 15,000 people, according to a permit issued by the National Park Service.

In the hours after the leaked draft opinion, first reported by Politico, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court expressing shock and dismay that the court could overturn nearly half a century of precedent, and the tide of protest has continued. .

In this region, people have continued to protest in front of the Supreme Court, which is now blocked by a security fence, and in front of the homes of conservative justices, including Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who wrote the draft, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called police after a message about abortion rights was written in sidewalk chalk in front of his home in Bangor, Maine.

The Senate failed to advance this week on legislation that would include a constitutional right to abortion in federal law, after Republicans from all 50 and Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) opposed moving forward with the bill. , called the Women’s Health Protection Law.

The Senate voted 49-51 to block the Women’s Health Protection Act on May 11. The bill would have codified the right to an abortion into federal law. (Video: The Washington Post)

Still, Bridget Todd, a spokeswoman for UltraViolet, a gender justice group that supports women and non-binary people, said those protesting Saturday will demand her approval, as well as urging the Biden administration and elected officials in all states to protect access to abortion.

“This is an all hands on deck moment,” Todd said. “The writing has been on the wall for so long, and the people with the power to do something haven’t really done much in terms of action.”

With a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court, many abortion-rights fear a Roe the reversal is imminent and they are worried about the consequences for millions of people. After all, the anti-abortion movement has made it clear that its goal is to achieve a national abortion ban.

Republican-led states have already moved to restrict or ban abortion. So far, in about half of the states, abortion may be illegal or very difficult to obtain, affecting the majority of women of childbearing age, in a Roe investment.

Anti-abortion activists brave the cold and fears of the pandemic to rally for what they hope will be the end of Roe v. Wade

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said she is encouraged by “trigger laws” in states that would ban abortion at one point. Roe investment. The group will protest abortion rights demonstrations in several different cities on Saturday, including in Washington to represent the anti-abortion movement.

“We do not want Roe to see his 50th birthday, so I think there’s a lot of excitement,” Hawkins said. “Our ultimate goal in the movement is to see abortion unthinkable, so that no woman feels like she has to make that choice and she’s not available either.”

The first nationwide Women’s March rally, following Trump’s 2016 election, drew millions of protesters to DC and similar marches across the country and is widely regarded as the largest day of activism in history. from the country. Of those who attended, about a third mentioned reproductive rights as one of the reasons they came out to protest, according to research by Dana R. Fisher, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland who studies protests and social movements. .

Over the years, Fisher said, left-leaning protests, including large demonstrations over climate change and systemic racism, have resulted in fewer people saying they are specifically motivated by reproductive rights.

Draft Opinion Rocks Abortion Clinics, Lawmakers Prepare for End of Roe

Fisher said she will closely watch the size of the crowd, which organizers estimated at a permit of 17,000 people, to see if abortion rights groups can mobilize people to meet this moment.

“I really think people still don’t believe it’s happening,” Fisher said, referring to people’s disbelief about a possible Roe investment. “If you can’t get a lot of people out on the streets for a day, the question is can you get them out to vote to make the kind of systemic change that is needed to ensure reproductive rights for women in America?”

As the Supreme Court decision looms, Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, said this protest is just one of many actions organizers plan to take this summer to demand that abortion rights codified in federal law. The final decision could come any time before the court finishes its work in late June or early July.

“We have to see an end to the attacks on our bodies,” Carmona said. “You can expect women to be completely ungovernable until this government starts working for us.”

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