WASHINGTON – Fear and anger erupted across the country on Tuesday as abortion rights advocates began to flood the streets, from the steps of the Supreme Court to New York, Nevada, Texas and California, to protest the potential decision of the nation’s highest court. to overthrow Roe v. Wade. †
While abortion rights organizations have warned of the pending decision that would allow states to ban abortions without exception, the leak of a draft opinion backed by a majority of judges Monday night sparked fear and frustration, and protesters raised their voices.
In addition to scattered national protests, organizers of the Women’s March, a global protest held the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, called on abortion rights supporters to gather outside federal courthouses and other government buildings.
‘Crying all morning’: Protesters gather outside Supreme Court
By 5 p.m., the size and energy of the abortion rights crowd outside the Supreme Court in Washington grew significantly as organizers handed out placards and led chants including “my body,” my choice” and “pro-life is a lie, you don’t do that.” “I don’t care if people die.”
Songs such as “This Is America” played as the crowd and an increasing number of agents from multiple law enforcement agencies marched around, waiting for a march to Tuesday night.
George Washington University freshmen Ellie Small, 19, and Emma Hearns, 18, took a break from college for the finals earlier in the day and voiced their concerns outside the Supreme Court.
“We’re here because it’s a really scary time to be a young woman,” Small said.
Jen Miller, 37, stood in silence and gave the nation’s highest court the middle finger. “It just makes me feel better,” she said.
Miller called the leaked Supreme Court document a “bad opinion” and said she hopes the news encourages Democrats to fight back — first by “bombing” the filibuster and passing a law to protect abortion. “I want the Democrats to do their damn job,” Miller added.
Mary Skinner, a 23-year-old TikToker with more than 1.4 million followers, joined others in the Supreme Court protest after she “cryed all morning,” she said.
“We’re just so heartbroken and disgusted and shocked,” Skinner said. “Maybe we shouldn’t be scared. But we are, and since we’re local, I mean, you have no choice but to come out.”
Skinner said she attended the first Women’s March while in college and left with a sense of hope. But five years later, “somehow it’s worse,” she said.
For Gabrielna Andrews, access is required to allow a woman to choose.
“I am a survivor of rape and severe trauma, I realize that access to abortion is necessary and saves the lives of women,” said the 26-year-old Maryland schoolteacher. “I couldn’t imagine seeing my rapist’s face in a child every day.”
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Anti-abortion activists demonstrate in Washington
Earlier in the day, anti-abortion activist Kristin Monahan (30) demonstrated before the Supreme Court. A self-described feminist, leftist and atheist, she was part of the smaller but vociferous crowd that supported abortion bans.
“I already feel it makes more sense for people who support pro-peace values — anti-war, vegan, anti-death penalty — that it makes more sense for such people to be against abortion, because abortion is violence, and it’s the mass murder of young people,” Monahan said.
Others agreed, calling for states to have the right to make such decisions.
“Abortion is oppression,” said Maggie Donica, 21, through a megaphone. Although she described herself as anti-abortion, Donica said her main reason for protesting is to return the right to decide on abortion to states.
Overthrowing Roe “is a statement of neutrality,” she said. “It gives back to states the right to make their decisions.”
‘Make your voice loud’: More protests staged across the country
Organized demonstrations stretched far beyond Washington, DC, from California to North Carolina on Tuesday.
protests took place in Denver and Reno, Nevada, where protesters gathered in front of a downtown federal courthouse. There, Rosie Gully, a regional organizer with NARAL Pro-Choice, managed to shout herself hoarse, even before officially starting the “Rally to Restore Roe.”
“There will be flooding from people seeking care,” Gully told several dozen supporters outside the Bruce R. Thompson Courthouse and federal building. “And we have an election coming up that will decide whether we keep this right to choose.”
Sonya Giroux, a 51-year-old mother from Reno, was less diplomatic.
“I’m really tired of this bull…” Giroux yelled through a megaphone. “Make your voice loud and keep fighting! This is really important.”
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In Quincy, Massachusetts, a large group of abortion rights protesters gathered outside City Hall.
Anne Meyerson of Quincy was standing with a coat hanger sign that read, “We will never go back.” She said her father-in-law was orphaned as a young boy when his mother died of an unsafe, illegal abortion.
“People forget what it was like,” Meyerson said. “Fifty years later, I never thought we’d have to have this fight again.”
Karla Gonzalez, a protester in Raleigh, North Carolina, said she awoke to “pure outrage” when she heard the news Tuesday morning.
Gonzalez said several friends have struggled to seek reproductive health care in North Carolina in recent years. Local abortion funds have said they don’t have enough money to help all patients seeking abortion services, including those from neighboring states with more restrictions.
Abortion is already “so incredibly hard to come by” in North Carolina, Gonzalez said, even for those living in more metropolitan areas.
“So I can’t even imagine what this is going to do,” she said of the leaked Roe v. Wade opinion.
Reports are circulating on social media that protests are being planned near the Texas State Capitol in Austin, the US Courthouse in Los Angeles and the US Courthouse in Chicago.
Do Americans support overthrowing Roe v. Wade?
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 supporting Roe, while 28% oppose it. The poll found that 18% had no opinion.
About 49% of the nation said abortion should be “legal and accessible” in the USA TODAY/Ipsos survey published in April. Only about a third of Republicans felt that way, compared to 73% of Democrats.
The Roe decision in 1973 determined that laws criminalizing abortions violate the Fourteenth Amendment. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirmed the rights upheld in the Roe ruling and changed the standards of abortion laws.
Contributors: Chelsey Cox, N’dea Yancey-Bragg, Ella Lee, USA TODAY; James DeHaven, Reno Gazette-Journal