WASHINGTON (AP) — Protesters facing a Supreme Court decision that could overturn constitutional abortion rights are aiming to use coast-to-coast rallies Saturday to express their outrage and mobilize for the fight ahead .
More than 380 events have been scheduled from Maine to Hawaii, with the largest gatherings expected in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other major cities, organizers said.
In the nation’s capital, activists planned to gather at the Washington Monument before marching to the Supreme Court, which is now surrounded by a security fence.
Tens of thousands of people were expected to attend the “Bans off our Bodies” events, which provided an outlet for anger and frustration for abortion rights activists following a leaked Supreme Court bill Judgment struck Roe v. Wade forward is tipped over.
“If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they will get,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March.
Polls show that most Americans want access to abortion — at least in the early stages of pregnancy — but the Supreme Court seemed willing to let the states have the final say.
If so, it’s expected that about half the states, mostly in the South and Midwest, will quickly ban abortion.
Teisha Kimmons, who traveled 80 miles to attend the Chicago rally, said she feared for women in states ready to ban abortion. She said she might not be alive today if she hadn’t had a legal abortion when she was 15.
“I was already starting to hurt myself, and I would rather have died than have a baby,” said Kimmons, a massage therapist from Rockford, Illinois.
The upcoming High Court ruling in a Mississippi case will energize voters and potentially shape the upcoming midterm elections.
Kimmons, 46, said she believes the focus needs to be on those races. “We have to elect politicians who support the election because women’s lives depend on it,” she said.
Kjirsten Nyquist, a nurse, agreed on the need for voting.
“As important as federal elections, voting is just as important in every small election,” said Nyquist, who pushed her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller and held her 3-year-old daughter’s hand as she walked to the Chicago rally.
Saturday’s rallies came three days after the Senate failed to collect enough votes to Roe v. to code Wade. Sponsors included the Women’s March, Move On, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, MoveOn, SEIU and other organizations.