Thousands of activists are preparing to take to the streets of the US on Saturday in a national day of action calling for safe and legal access to abortion.
The planned national demonstrations are a response to a leaked draft opinion showing that the conservative majority of the United States Supreme Court is considering overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling from 1973 that guarantees access to abortion throughout the country.
“Our bodies are ours; if they are not, we cannot be truly free or equal,” says a petition from Bans Off Our Bodies, organized by groups like Planned Parenthood and Women’s March.
“All over the country, some politicians are trying to make decisions about our bodies for us,” he says.
“We will not allow the abortion bans sweeping the country to put our lives and futures at risk, and we will not be silenced as they take away our fundamental right to control our bodies.”
The leak of the draft opinion has fueled fury over the possible rollback of abortion rights ahead of key midterm elections in November, when control of both houses of Congress is at stake.
Democrats have pushed to codify abortion rights into federal law, an attempt to nail down Republicans on the deeply divisive issue ahead of crucial elections.
The House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act would ensure that health care providers have the right to perform abortions and that patients have the right to receive them.
But Republicans in the US Senate refused to allow a vote on the measure earlier this week.
– ‘We all lose’: Legislative outcome doesn’t square with broad American opinion: New Politico/Morning Consult poll shows 53 percent of voters say Roe should not be repealed, up three percentage points from last week while 58 percent said it was important to vote for a candidate who supports abortion access.
Republican-controlled states have already moved to restrict abortion rights in recent months, and overturned Roe v. Wade would give them much more freedom to restrict or prohibit the procedure.
“We ALL lose if Roe is struck down,” tweeted Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March.
“Even those in small conservative towns like mine in Texas who are grateful for their wife’s abortion during a pregnancy that put her health at risk, or fear their granddaughter may not have access if she was raped,” he wrote. .
He had previously tweeted: “If you’re mad like me, join us in the streets this Saturday.”
The right to access abortion has long sparked activism, but the Supreme Court leak has sparked a surge in demonstrations, including outside judges’ homes.
The mostly peaceful protests have drawn Republican criticism over the privacy rights of court members, but activists have responded by pointing to years of often violent protests outside abortion clinics and at the homes of doctors who perform the medical procedure.
And many have cited the pending Supreme Court decision as a far greater invasion of privacy.
“You cannot take away my bodily autonomy and start enjoying your Saturday at home. You can do one or the other,” one protester, Nikki Enfield, told a local CBS television affiliate.
The leaked opinion is also prompting renewed calls by Democrats and progressives to add justices to the nation’s highest court, buoyed by the possibility that they won’t stop with Roe v. Wade and can override other historic decisions.
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