Thousands of people gathered on the National Mall and marched past the U.S. Supreme Court as the court prepares to issue a ruling that could end decades of constitutional protections for abortion care and trigger a wave of laws making abortion illegal in about half of the United States.
National “Bans Off Our Bodies” rallies drew massive crowds of abortion rights advocates to Washington DC and to the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas and downtown areas across the United States.
National abortion rights groups have helped organize rallies in nearly 400 cities and towns, from Cleveland to Oklahoma City and throughout South Nashville to Atlanta and New Orleans and across Florida , drawing huge crowds outside state capitals and into city centers in states on the verge of severely restricting or banning access to abortion.
“This is a moment of crisis,” US Representative Barbara Lee told a crowd in Washington DC. “Radical Supreme Court justices and right-wing extremists are making it clear they won’t stop until a nationwide ban is enacted. But we are here to say loud and clear: keep these prohibitions out of our bodies.
The rallies demanded support from abortion funds, reproductive health groups, abortion providers and state and federal protections for abortion care following a leaked draft opinion of the conservative Supreme Court to overturn the historic 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wadeand its confirmatory decision in 1992 Planned Parenthood versus Casey.
A formal decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationthe Mississippi case at the center of the debates of the Supreme Court roe deer debate, is expected in the coming weeks.
About half of U.S. states are on the verge of early or immediate abortion bans, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans designed to take effect without comprehensive federal protections for abortion access.
The Supreme Court heard arguments from the Dobbs case in December. Over the next few months, a wave of anti-abortion legislation in Republican-led states, emboldened by the upcoming ruling, proposed eliminating access to abortion in most cases and criminalizing care. abortion by making it a crime for providers to see aborted patients.
In the first few months of the year, lawmakers in nearly 40 states introduced more than 200 bills aimed at restricting access to abortion.
Meanwhile, four states and Washington DC have codified the right to abortion access, while 12 states explicitly allow abortion care, according to reproductive research organization Guttmacher Institute.
This week, the US Senate failed to pass a federal measure, the Women’s Health Protection Act, that would codify roe deerwith Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin joining 50 Republican senators voting to block debate, thereby killing the legislation.
President Joe Biden has accused Senate Republicans of obstructing legislation, stressing the urgency of protecting “fundamental rights” threatened by the Supreme Court, and said the Senate’s inaction “goes to the against the will of the majority of the American people”.
Several recent polls show that a majority of Americans support protections for access to abortion and respect for Roe vs. Wade decision.
“Republicans in Congress — none of whom voted for this bill — have chosen to obstruct the right of Americans to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families, and lives,” the president said. in a press release.
The Independent Gt