US abortion rights activists begin “Summer of Rage” with Saturday protests.


WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – Thousands of abortion-rights supporters rallied in protests across the United States on Saturday, beginning what organizers have described as “a summer of anger” when the US Supreme Court decides the Roe v. Wade, who legalized abortion nationwide.

Planned Parenthood, Women’s March and other abortion rights groups organized more than 400 Bans Off Our Bodies marches for Saturday, with the largest turnouts expected in New York City, Washington, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The demonstrations come in response to the May 2 leak of a draft advisory opinion showing that the conservative majority of the court is poised to reverse the landmark 1973 decision that established a federal constitutional right to abortion.

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The court’s final ruling, which could give states the power to ban abortions, is expected in June. About half of U.S. states could ban or severely restrict abortion soon after a Roe eviction ruling. Continue reading

Organizers said they expect hundreds of thousands of people to attend Saturday’s events, which they say would be the first of many coordinated protests against the Supreme Court decision.

“This is going to be a summer of anger for the women of this country,” said Rachel Carmona, President of the Women’s March. “We will be ungovernable until this government starts working for us, until the attacks on our bodies cease, until abortion rights are enshrined in law.”

Several thousand abortion supporters began gathering at a Chicago park Saturday morning, including US Representative Sean Casten and his 15-year-old daughter Audrey.

Casten, whose district includes Chicago’s western suburbs, told Reuters it was “terrible” that the conservative Supreme Court was considering stripping abortion rights and “condemning women to that lesser status.”

Democrats, who currently hold the White House and both houses of Congress, are hoping the backlash to the Supreme Court decision will propel their party’s candidates to victory in November’s congressional elections. Continue reading

But voters will weigh abortion rights against other issues like soaring food and gas prices, and they may be skeptical of Democrats’ ability to protect access to abortion after efforts to pass legislation that would enshrine abortion rights in federal law, have failed. Continue reading

More than 400 people gathered in a small park in front of the state capital for a protest against abortion rights in Atlanta.

Elizabeth Murphy, 40, a sales representative from nearby Cobb County and a lifelong Democrat, said she believes abortion rights supporters will show up for the November midterm elections.

“I’m voting and this time I’m telling everyone I know to vote,” she said.

Spirits in downtown Brooklyn were lively on Saturday as thousands of abortion rights supporters prepared to cross the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.

Elizabeth Holtzman, an 80-year-old protester who represented New York in Congress from 1973 to 1981, said the Supreme Court’s leaked draft advisory opinion “treats women as objects rather than full human beings.”

“I have been fighting for women’s rights for 50 years and I will not give up,” she said.

Abortion rights supporters in Washington gathered at the Washington Monument with plans to go to the Supreme Court. In Los Angeles, protesters planned to meet at City Hall, and a group in Austin was scheduled to gather in the Texas state capital.

For the past week, protesters have gathered outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh, who the leaked opinion says led to the overthrow of Roe v. Wade have voted.

Judge Clarence Thomas told a conference in Dallas on Friday that trust within the court “was gone forever” after the leak.

“If you lose that trust, particularly in the institution that I am in, that fundamentally changes the institution,” the conservative judge said.

Students for Life of America, an anti-abortion advocacy group with campus chapters across the country, said it held counter-protests in nine cities including Washington on Saturday.

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Reporting by Gabriella Borter in Washington; Additional reporting by Eric Cox in Chicago, Maria Caspani in New York and Rich McKay in Atlanta; writing by Ted Hesson; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Cynthia Osterman, Grant McCool and Mark Porter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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