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Abortion rights activists participate in a Bans Off Our Bodies rally in Washington, DC
Pro-choice advocates are outraged over a US Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the right to abortion Image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
PoliticsUnited States of America

Thousands rally across US for abortion rights

May 14, 2022

Pro-choice demonstrators are rallying across the US in opposition to the Supreme Court's draft opinion that could scrap the right to abortion. Protesters say it is only the beginning of their fight against the decision.


Thousands of demonstrators rallied across the United States on Saturday to demand safe and legal access to abortion.

The protests were taking place less than two weeks after a leaked draft opinion showed that the US Supreme Court was ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision in 1973 that established a federal right to terminate a pregnancy.

Pro-choice groups, including Planned Parenthood and Women's March, organized more than 400 "Bans Off Our Bodies" marches for Saturday, with the largest turnouts expected in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Chicago.

"For the women of this country, this will be a summer of rage," said Rachel Carmona, president of Women's March. "If it's a fight they want, it's a fight they'll get," she added.

America's abortion battle

Fighting for the right to access abortion

The leak of the draft opinion has ignited fury about the potential rollback of abortion rights.

The court's final ruling, which could give states the power to ban abortion, is expected in June.

If that happens, roughly half of US states, mostly in the South and Midwest, are expected to ban abortion swiftly.

This week, the Senate failed to codify Roe v. Wade in a national abortion rights bill after all 50 Republicans and one Democrat opposed moving ahead on the Women's Health Protection Act.

Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans want to preserve access to abortion, at least in the earlier stages of pregnancy.

But, with a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, many fear that the reversal of the right to abortion recognized nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade is imminent.

Democrats, who currently hold the White House and both chambers of Congress, hope that backlash to the Supreme Court decision will carry their party's candidates to victory in congressional elections in November.

After the Senate decision, Vice President Kamala Harris urged voters to support pro-choice candidates.

Court probing leak, says decision not finalized

The Supreme Court has said the draft opinion does not represent the final position of any of the court's members, and Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.

In the past week, protesters have gathered outside the homes of Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh, both of whom would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to the draft.

Justice Clarence Thomas said at a conference in Dallas on Friday that trust within the court was "gone forever" following the leak.

"When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I'm in, it changes the institution fundamentally," the conservative justice said.

lo/nm (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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