Coast-to-coast rallies planned Saturday supporting abortion rights

U.S.

Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. Whatever the outcome, the Politico report represents an extremely rare breach of the court’s secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Demonstrators facing down a Supreme Court decision that could overturn women’s right to an abortion planned rallies from coast to coast Saturday to express their outrage – and to mobilize for the fight ahead.

More than 380 events are planned from Maine to Hawaii, with the largest gatherings in big cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, organizers said.

In Washington, D.C., activists planned to gather at the Washington Monument before marching to the U.S. Supreme Court, now surrounded by a security fence.

Tens of thousands of people were expected at the “Bans Off Our Bodies” events, providing an outlet for anger and frustration for abortion rights activists after a leaked draft Supreme Court ruling suggested Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

“If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they’ll get,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March.

Polls show that most Americans want to preserve access to abortion — at least in the earlier stages of pregnancy — but the Supreme Court appeared to be poised to let the states have the final say.

If that happens, roughly half of the states, mainly in the South and Midwest, are expected to ban abortion quickly.

The upcoming ruling stands to energize voters, potentially shaping the forthcoming midterm elections.

Saturday’s rallies were being held three days after the U.S. Senate failed to muster enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade. Sponsors included the Women’s March, Move On, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, and SEIU.

Carmona said the fight will continue at polling places, demonstrations and other venues “until we have a full restoration of our rights.”

“It’s no exaggeration to say that for the women of this country, this will be a summer of rage,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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