Donna Troy Wangler was among the few women gathered at an abortion rights rally in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, not holding a sign announcing her views.
But the Inland Empire High School teacher had a touching story to share about her daughter, Lauren, who was born with Down syndrome and was 6 when she died.
“Some people think it’s like a picture for moms” [me] To have an abortion,” Wangler said. “I decided to keep my baby—and that was a painful weight to carry. But God, the love we shared changed my life forever.”
“So, here I am today,” Wangler, 53, said, “because I want the world to know that abortion is one woman’s choice. No one else’s.”
Joining protesters across the country, thousands marched Saturday near LA City Hall and elsewhere across the state, as the US Supreme Court moves to overturn Row v. Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that struck nationwide. Legalizes abortion.
Hundreds of rallies took place across the United States, including Long Beach, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Palos Verdes and Santa Ana, as well as San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, New York, Chicago, and Austin, Texas.
Shante Young, 28, a construction company project engineer living in Costa Mesa, and her boyfriend, Dylan Sanchez, 30, a retailer who lives in Whittier, looked for shade under a tree in Grand Park as They listened to the voices of abortion rights supporters rising through loudspeakers from the stage in front of City Hall. A few yards away, anti-abortion protesters played drums and used a megaphone to stifle activists’ voices.
“If they start taking away women’s rights, they’re going to take away their right to vote,” Young said. “What’s next? It’s so scary.”
Hundreds of protesters burst into applause and cheered the speakers on stage.
“The biggest thing is that we make our presence felt,” Sanchez said. He also said that the loss of abortion rights would foreshadow the loss of other rights. “I’m just worried that one thing is going to replace another, like the domino effect,” he said.
Betty Linville, 68, who lives in Koreatown, attended the rally with a friend, Anna Gladstone, 62, who lives in the Hollywood Hills.
“I have memories of women and men fighting for abortion rights 50 years ago,” Linville said. She said she was concerned that the “incredible freedom” of legal abortion was at risk, especially for women who lack the means to travel from a state where it is banned to a state where it is allowed.
“what is next?” Linville said. “And what’s going to take?”
“It comes down to the poor women who won’t have access to travel for an abortion,” Gladstone said.
Governor Gavin Newsom has unveiled a plan to set aside $40 million for abortion service providers in California to help cover uninsured residents and others seeking care if the decision is reversed. To cover the expected influx of women from the states. California legislators have also said they will ask voters in November to provide permanent protections for the process in the state’s constitution.
“If the row is reversed, California will play an important role in health care for women everywhere,” said Gabriel Karnick, a film director and photographer who participated in Saturday’s rally. The doctors treating him as well as women from all over the country will come here.
“It’s wonderful for California,” she said, “but terrifying for the states they’ll leave behind.”
Politico demonstrated after a May 2 report that Justice Samuel A. A draft opinion written by Alito Jr. indicated that a majority of the court would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, overturning the recognition of women’s constitutional right to safe and legal abortion.
The Supreme Court has confirmed the authenticity of the draft but said the decision is not yet final. If the precedent falls, at least 26 states are expected to ban abortions.
The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, could issue a final opinion in late June or early July.
Most Americans support abortion rights — up to a point. A major survey of 10,441 Americans conducted by the Pew Research Center in March and released earlier this month found that 61% of Americans said abortion should be legal for all (19%) or most (42%).
On the other hand, only 8% said that abortion should be illegal in all cases, while another 29% said that it should be illegal in most cases or with only a few exceptions. Those results are in line with many other surveys of opinion regarding abortion.
Kim O’Kelly, 52, a makeup artist, and her friend Kelly Sweeney, 54, a personal assistant, came to the LA City Hall protest from their homes in Burbank, and each raised a green sign when they arrived: “Closed Do the Supreme Court by taking away the right to abortion!
“We’re afraid that Rowe versus Wade is about to turn around, and we’re not going to lay it down — we’re going to fight for it,” O’Kelly said.
Sweeney said older men using their power to curb abortion rights fail to appreciate the many different circumstances that can lead a woman to terminate a pregnancy. He raised the possibility of a 14-year-old girl, who was raped, forced to go to Mexico to have an abortion, saying that those who threatened abortion rights lacked sympathy for such people. Is.
“It’s never supposed to be,” she said. “It should be safe for everyone.”
Ellen Lee, 29, waved a sign, writing: “I am not a slave meat pot.”
“It’s a phrase I’ve said to so many men in life,” said Lee, an architectural analyst who lives in El Monte. Pinned to her tank top was a “We Are the Resistance” button depicting Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”
Lee described the protest as a significant display of force that could bring about change. “There is power in numbers, and we have numbers,” she said. “I really believe in the power of a group.”
Lee was surprised by the draft Supreme Court’s decision, but it also inspired him to fight back. “It kind of feels like you’re living a dystopian nightmare, but it also gives a lot of inspiration,” she said.
By her side listening to the speakers was her mother, 59-year-old Linda Lee, a medical assistant who also lives in El Monte and a sign was reading: “Not my daughter, you bitch!” He made the same gesture at the Women’s March after President Trump’s inauguration.
“It’s really scary,” the elder Lee said, expressing concern that the ending of Roe v. Wade could threaten LGBTQ rights and the right to racially mixed marriage. “If they make their way with it, they will continue to get more,” she said.
Rep. Maxine Waters then took the stage, one of several speakers, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Karen Bass was involved. Shortly thereafter, many in the crowd joined the cast on stage in the song “We Shall Overcome”.
The protest ended shortly after noon with an urgent plea from a worker on the podium: “We need your help!”
Among the legions of volunteers was Elizabeth Folio, a veteran activist whose job it was to hand out free posters from a hilarious curb with a panoramic view of the event. She could barely keep up with the demand.
This was because, she said, “Things have changed. Serious concern over these issues has turned into anger.”
“There are more men involved,” she said, nodding appreciatively to the crowd.
“People understand that abortion isn’t going anywhere,” she said. “Turning the row will only end safe abortion. Which people didn’t want to talk about before. But they are now.”
Times staff writers David Lauter and Melody Gutierrez contributed to this report.