WASHINGTON — Protests for abortion rights across the United States were planned for Tuesday in response to a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade who established a constitutional right to abortion.
Protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Monday and returned on Tuesday after a Politico report detailed Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s plan that said, “Roe was horribly wrong all along.”
Organizers of the Women’s March, a global protest in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, called on abortion rights supporters to rally outside federal courthouses and other government buildings Tuesday evening.
Abortion rights and anti-abortion activists rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday, waving signs and chanting into megaphones.
George Washington University freshmen Ellie Small, 19, and Emma Hearns, 18, took a break from their studies for the finals on Tuesday to join the protest for abortion rights.
“We’re here because it’s a really scary time for a young woman,” Small said.
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Elsewhere in the United States, demonstrations were also organized.
A call to gather in Foley Square, across from the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in Manhattan, has been circulating on social media among New York groups. Former U.S. Senator in New York and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also shared the details of the Foley Square protest on Twitter.
Social media posts circulating also said protests were planned near the Texas state capitol in Austin, the US courthouse in Los Angeles and the US courthouse in Chicago.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday found that a majority of Americans support the Supreme Court upholding Roe v. Wade. The poll, taken last week, found that 54% of Americans support keeping Roe, while 28% support scrapping it. The poll revealed that 18% had no opinion.
About 49% of the nation said abortion should be “legal and accessible” in the USA TODAY/Ipsos poll released this month. Only about a third of Republicans agree, compared to 73% of Democrats.
The Roe decision in 1973 found that laws criminalizing abortions violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirmed the rights affirmed in the Roe decision and changed the standards of abortion laws.
Abortion rights and anti-abortion protesters gather outside the Supreme Court
In Washington, Jen Miller, 37, stood in silence as she gave the nation’s highest court the middle finger. “It just makes me feel better,” she said.
Calling the leaked Supreme Court document a “poor opinion,” Miller said she hoped the news would encourage Democrats to fight back — first by “bombing” the filibuster and passing legislation to protect the abortion. “I want the Democrats to do their fucking job,” Miller added.
Small, one of George Washington’s students, said she felt it was also important for people to protest in their home countries. Hearns said his motivation was to raise awareness that removing federal abortion protections could disenfranchise others as well.
“It’s really scary to me that (anti-abortion activists) don’t understand that taking away abortion takes away so many rights and so many things from women and other people who have wombs,” Hearns said.
Anti-abortion activists clustered outside the court chanting and holding multicolored posters, but by 11 a.m. many had left as the crowd of abortion rights protesters grew.
“Abortion is an oppression,” Maggie Donica, 21, said through a megaphone. Although she describes herself as anti-abortion, Donica said her main reason for protesting was to give states back the right to decide on abortion.
“(Overturning Roe) is a statement of neutrality and it gives states the right to make their decisions,” she said.
Kristin Monahan, 30, who describes herself as a feminist, leftist, atheist and anti-abortion activist, said she views abortion as a form of violence.
“I already feel like this makes more sense for people who support pro-peace values - anti-war, vegan, anti-death penalty – it makes more sense for people like that to be against it. abortion,” she said.
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