Thousands of women took to the streets of major US cities this Saturday to demonstrate in favor of legal abortion across the country, given the likelihood that the Supreme Court will soon overturn the constitutional protection of this right.
All eyes have been on the highest court ever since a draft verdict was leaked two weeks ago in which the court’s conservative majority is leaning towards crushing Roe v. country.
“If the text is approved, it will be devastating and terrible,” said Gabriela Benazar, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, one of the organizations that organized the protests.
from coast to coast
Under the slogan “Ban Our Bodies”, more than 430 demonstrations, rallies and actions were held throughout the country.
One of the largest was recorded in New York, where thousands of people, mostly women, crossed the famous Brooklyn Bridge to get to Foley Square.
Isabelle Gadd accompanied her 74-year-old grandmother, Irna, who would never have thought that the right to an abortion could be in jeopardy. “I was very naive and now my heart is broken,” she told Efe.
In the capital, the march drew thousands of people who left the Washington obelisk in the direction of the Supreme Court headquarters, the focus of several protests in recent weeks.
“I don’t have any respect for the members of the Supreme Court, they are like the Taliban,” said Efe Gloria Black, a resident of the area who traveled to the scene because she believes that judges should not “dictate morality.”
Other women carried banners with messages such as “Get your hands off my body,” “Motherhood is a choice, not a government decision,” or “Abortion is a human right.”
Thousands of miles away, on the west coast of the United States, about 5,000 people gathered in Los Angeles City Hall Square (California), who almost in unison shouted: “My body, my decision.”
“We are taking to the streets because women will be in danger if we are banned from legal abortions, and we are not going to be silent,” says Emiliana Gierek, founder of the Women’s March Foundation.
Several states will ban it
If the court’s conservative majority – six of nine judges – struck down Roe v. Wade, abortion would not be outlawed in the country, but states would have free rein to veto it. Planned Parenthood has calculated that 26 Republican-ruled states such as Texas, Arizona, Missouri, or Georgia will restrict or suppress it.
In contrast, in progressive states such as California, New York or New Jersey, no change is expected.
Gabriela Benazar, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, warned that it would “very disproportionately” affect black, Hispanic, migrant or low-income women who would not be able to travel to other states to have an abortion.
In addition, he considered that the Supreme Court project “poses a threat not only to the right to abortion in the United States, but, possibly, to other rights”, such as the rights of the LGBT community.
“Women’s rights are under threat,” U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted Saturday, though she did not mention the word “abortion.”
Women’s rights are under threat. Over the past few months, we have seen extremist Republican leaders try to use the anti-women law as a weapon. These attacks affect all Americans and harm women.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 14, 2022
The issue is already at the center of the November midterm election campaign, in which Democrats fear losing their majorities in both houses of Congress.
United States President Joe Biden a few days ago called for votes for congressmen and senators who favor access to abortion, a right he called “fundamental.”
To show their support for abortion, Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill in the Senate in favor of abortion nationwide, a symbolic initiative that was destined to fail because they didn’t have the 60 votes needed to force a debate.
According to a poll by The Washington Post and the ABC Network, 54% of Americans think the Supreme Court should uphold the protection of abortion.
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