Thousands of activists are preparing to take to the streets in the U.S. on Saturday in a day of national action calling for safe and legal access to abortion.
The planned nationwide demonstration is in response to a leaked draft opinion that shows a conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is considering quashing Roe v. Wade, an important 1973 decision that guaranteed access to abortion nationwide.
“We are done with the attack on abortion. We are marching TODAY to make our voices loud and clear,” read a tweet from the Women’s March, one of the groups behind the Bans Off Our Bodies protest.
Protesters are expected in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Austin and Chicago, as well as at hundreds of small events across the country.
“This Saturday, our elected leaders hear us, Supreme Court judges hear us, companies that have funded anti-abortion interests hear us,” Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at advocacy organization UltraViolet, said in a statement to AFP.
“We will be ready to meet this time, whether it’s a rally on the streets, applying to state officials – whatever it takes.”
The parade in New York is scheduled to begin at noon local time in Brooklyn with plans to march across the bridge to Manhattan’s Foley Square, while thousands more people are expected to begin demonstrating in Washington at 2:00 pm (1800 GMT) and descend on the Supreme Court building.
The leak of the draft opinion has sparked outrage over the potential revocation of abortion rights ahead of November’s main mid-term elections, when control of both houses of congress is at stake.
Democrats have insisted on codifying abortion rights into federal law, an effort to put Republicans on a highly divisive issue before a crucial election.
The approved Women’s Health Protection Act at Home will ensure health care professionals have the right to provide for abortions and patients have the right to receive them.
But Republicans and a Democrat in the U.S. Senate thwarted efforts to advance the move earlier this week.
‘We all lost’
The legislative results don’t match American opinion in general: a new Politico/Morning Consult poll had 53 percent of voters saying Roe shouldn’t be abolished, up three percentage points since last week, while 58 percent said it was important to vote for a candidate who supports abortion access.
Republican-dominated states have taken steps to restrict abortion rights in recent months, and repealed Roe v. Wade will give them greater latitude to block or ban the procedure.
“We ALL lose if Roe is upside down,” tweeted Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of Women’s March.
“Even those in a conservative small town like me in Texas are grateful for an abortion their wife performed during pregnancy that endangered her health, or feared their grandchildren might be inaccessible if she was raped,” he wrote. .
He previously tweeted: “If you’re angry like me, join us on the streets this Saturday.”
The right to access abortion has long sparked activism, but Supreme Court leaks have prompted an increase in demonstrations, including outside judges ’homes.
The largely peaceful protests have invited Republican criticism of court members ’privacy rights, but activists have responded by showing protests that have often occurred over violent years outside abortion clinics and in the homes of doctors providing medical procedures.
And many refer to the pending Supreme Court decision as a far greater invasion of privacy.
“You can’t take away my body autonomy and enjoy your Saturday at home. You can do one or the other,” one protester, Nikki Enfield, told a local CBS television affiliate.
Police in Washington, still struggling after the U.S. Capitol was attacked by a group of supporters of then -president Donald Trump in January 2021, have installed temporary fences around the Supreme Court.
The leaked opinion also sparked renewed calls by Democrats and progressives to add judges to the nation’s highest court, driven by the possibility that they won’t stop with Roe v. Wade and can overturn other important decisions.
(This story has not been edited by AGRASMARTCITY staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)