Story at a glance
- A coalition of progressive and reproductive rights groups are planning massive rallies around the country on Saturday.
- The “Bans Off Our Bodies” day of action is in support of abortion and reproductive rights.
- In Washington, about 17,000 people are expected to participate.
Thousands of Americans are expected to turn out to rally for abortion rights this weekend, with demonstrations planned in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago and more.
A coalition of progressive and reproductive rights groups, including Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, Women’s March and MoveOn, are holding the “Bans Off Our Bodies” day of action on Saturday in cities across the country. The protests are in response to the leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court that showed the high court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling that affirmed abortion access as a constitutional right.
“Bans Off Our Bodies” will host anchor rallies in Austin, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, with more demonstrations planned in other cities including Cleveland, St. Louis, Denver and more.
In DC, protesters plan to gather at the Washington Monument and march to the Supreme Court. A public gathering permit issued by the National Park Service indicated 17,000 people are anticipated to attend.
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“We’re showing up everywhere because this s— is ludicrous, offensive and dangerous. Because when we don’t, they spike harder. Because we have power + we’re not alone,” Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, said in a tweet in anticipation for the Saturday rallies.
Planned Parenthood took out a full-page ad in The New York Times Friday that included signatories of its “Bans Off Our Bodies” campaign. A lengthy list of prominent stars, including Selena Gomez, Olivia Rodrigo, Ariana Grande and many more, added their names in support of the movement.
“We are artists. Creators. Storytellers. We are the new generation stepping into our power. Now we are being robbed of our power. We will not go back — and we will not back down,” reads the ad.
Former Democratic presidential nominee and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also urged Americans to act, saying in a tweet, “Don’t feel helpless about the extreme members of the Supreme Court taking away women’s rights. Join a rally in your area this Saturday, support pro-choice candidates, speak out! #BansOffOurBodies.”
Planned Parenthood has developed an interactive map on its website allowing people interested in participating in a rally this weekend to search for an event happening near them.
Crowds of anti-abortion and abortion rights protesters have gathered in front of the Supreme Court starting hours after the draft opinion was published. Videos circulating online showed advocates with signs supporting Planned Parenthood and chanting for abortion rights.
The large crowds prompted law enforcement to place barriers outside the Supreme Court, as many stayed past midnight and were overwhelmingly against the leaked court’s decision.
In recent days, protesters even gathered outside the homes of three conservative justices, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts, carrying signs and chanting for abortion rights. The backlash even spread to Maine, where local authorities reported Sen. Susan Collins (R) called the police after individuals drew an abortion rights message on the sidewalk outsider her home.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its final ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case in June, and if it ultimately strikes down Roe v. Wade, 13 states are poised to immediately ban or severely limit abortion through trigger laws.
The White House urged Americans to elect more pro-abortion rights lawmakers to state and federal levels after the Senate failed to pass legislation protecting abortion rights this week. In a statement, President Biden said, “Republicans in Congress – not one of whom voted for this bill – have chosen to stand in the way of Americans’ rights to make the most personal decisions about their own bodies, families and lives.”
“To protect the right to choose, voters need to elect more pro-choice senators this November, and return a pro-choice majority to the House. If they do, Congress can pass this bill in January, and put it on my desk, so I can sign it into law,” Biden said.
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Published May. 13, 2022
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism