WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Thousands of abortion rights supporters took to the streets in cities across the United States Saturday to vent their anger that the Supreme Court may soon overturn the ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Shouts of “My body, my decision!” resounded as activists reiterated their commitment to fight for their reproductive freedom.
Outraged after the leak of a draft opinion that indicated that the conservative majority of the highest court in the country could prepare to vote to annul the landmark Roe v. Wade Act of 1973, activists voiced their rejection and mobilized with an eye to the future, as Republican-led states prepare to implement more severe restrictions.
In the nation’s capital, thousands gathered at the Washington Monument before marching on the Supreme Court, which was surrounded by two barriers of security fences.
From Pittsburgh to Pasadena, California and Nashville, Tennessee and Lubbock, Texas, tens of thousands of people participated in abortion rights events. Organizers hoped that, among the hundreds of rallies, the largest would take place in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities.
“If they want a fight, they will have a fight,” warned Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, before the protests.
Polls show most Americans want to preserve access to abortion — at least in the early stages of pregnancy — but the Supreme Court seemed poised to let the states have the final say. If that happens, about half of the states — mostly in the south and center of the country — could ban abortion.
The highest court’s upcoming ruling, in a Mississippi case, is almost certain to fire up voters, potentially influencing the midterm elections.
In Texas, which has a law that bans many abortions, the challenger to one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress marched in San Antonio. Jessica Cisneros joined the protesters just days before her primary vote against Rep. Henry Cuellar. The race could be one of the first tests of whether the leak of the court’s draft will galvanize voters.