Crowds gather in the capital, cities across the country to defend abortion rights

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Protesters gather in Washington and at more than 380 events across the country on Saturday, including in New York City, San Antonio, Chicago and Los Angeles, to demand safe and legal access to miscarriage.

The rallies come as a direct response to Leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion Indicating that he is in a position to overturn ru. against Wadethe 49-year-old resolution that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion.

National tensions over abortion rights have risen since this month’s leak. Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion advocates — sensing a historic moment that would reshape American social and political life — accelerated their efforts, with demonstrations by those on both sides of the issue planned for the weekend.

Abortion rights groups gather and declare ‘It is forbidden to our bodies’

The organizers behind Saturday’s protests against abortion rights designed the events as a resounding message to leaders that The majority of Americans support stick to Ro. Senate Fail to advance legislation Wednesday that would codify a constitutional right to abortion into federal law, after both 50 Republicans and Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) To advance the bill, called the Women’s Health Protection Act.

However, Bridget Todd, a spokeswoman for UltraViolet, a gender justice group that supports women and nonbinary individuals, said Saturday’s demonstrations are pushing for the bill to pass, as well as urging the Biden administration and elected officials in each state to protect abortion access.

“This is a hands-on deck moment,” Todd said. “The writing has been hanging on the wall for a long time, and people who have the ability to do something haven’t done much in terms of work.”

Republican-led states have already moved to restrict or ban abortion, and the anti-abortion movement has been clear that its goal is Achieving a nationwide ban. At this point, miscarriage It may be illegal or difficult to obtain In about half of the countries then Ro fall, affect The majority of women in childbearing age.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life in America, said the group will be resisting abortion rights demonstrations in several cities on Saturday, including in Washington, to represent the anti-abortion movement.

“we do not want Ro Let’s see her 50th birthday, so I think there’s a lot of excitement,” Hawkins said. “Our ultimate goal in the movement is to see abortion as unimaginable, so no woman ever feels they have to make that choice and it’s also unavailable.”

In San Antonio, several hundred people gathered downtown on Saturday morning. Several protesters said they attended abortion rights rallies in recent months to protest the restrictive Texas law, which took effect in September, banning nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Sisters Evelyn Thames, 26, and Valeria Thames, 21, attended the protest together. They said their anti-abortion parents had told them not to go.

Evelyn Thames said that when the Texas law went into effect, she and several of her friends spoke out on social media.

“Most people don’t even know they’re pregnant until after six weeks,” she said. “It puts restrictions on women of color in particular.”

The sisters are from Laredo, Texas, on the southern border, where they say they know several people who crossed into Mexico to buy abortion pills from pharmacies without consulting a provider.

“It’s dangerous,” said Evelyn Thames. If the Supreme Court overturns Raw vs. WadeShe added, “It will not stop abortions. It will stop safe abortions.”

The court held oral arguments in December in Dobbs vs. Women’s Health Jacksonon the constitutionality of the 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi—a direct challenge to Ro. Disclosure of the draft opinion in the Mississippi case, First reported by Politicosign to At least five court members were about to vote to overturn the ruling Ro.

With a conservative 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, many pro-abortion rights people now fear that a reversal, which will have consequences for millions of people, is imminent.

Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, said the capital’s protest on Saturday is just one of many actions organizers plan this summer to demand that the right to abortion be codified into federal law. A final decision may be issued at any time before the court finishes its work at the end of 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 with us.”

metropolitan police Traffic Consulting He warned that drivers may find parking restricted and streets closed due to Saturday’s demonstrations. It encouraged drivers to avoid the downtown area and recommended the use of public transportation. Traffic information can be updated It can be found here.

Carolyn Kitchener contributed to this report.