Marchers gather for abortion rights protest walk to Supreme Court

Thousands marched through downtown D.C. in support of abortion rights Saturday afternoon, nearly two weeks after a leaked draft opinion revealed the Supreme Court to be on the brink of upending a decades-old legal precedent for abortion access.

The Women’s March and Planned Parenthood, together with several other women’s rights and progressive advocacy groups, including UltraViolet and MoveOn, led marchers from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court. Saturday’s march marked the latest in a wave of street protests sparked almost immediately after Politico published a draft opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade and limit abortion access in more than half the states.

Marchers chanted “Abortion is healthcare” and held signs that said “My body, my choice,” “Bans off our bodies,” “Support bodily autonomy,” and more, as an all-female drum corp played amongst the demonstrators.

The march may prove to be the largest yet: According to a permit from the National Park Service, organizers expected around 17,000 attendees for the flagship event of what the Women’s March calls a nationwide “bans off our bodies” day of action, with concurrent sister rallies planned across the country.

One person, who gave her name as Gigi, from Tennessee, said she came to D.C. on Saturday for the march due to her dissatisfaction with the shape of the Supreme Court.

“We can’t stand back any longer, this is vital to the future of our country,” she said.

Another woman, Catherine, from Texas, said she came to the source of power in the U.S. because those in her state will not support women’s rights. She said she felt “horror and dismay” when she saw the news of the draft opinion two weeks ago. She noted she is an active protester in Dallas.

 



Spontaneous protests spanning from hundreds to several thousand erupted the night of the leak and continued last weekend. This week saw smaller protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices in the suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia.

“Losing the right to abortion has consequences. Women will pay the price.” Women’s March executive director Rachel O’Leary Carmona said in a news release previewing Saturday’s event. “We can stop this tragedy, and the time is now. We will get up and fight, like women have throughout history — for the most basic right. The right to be treated as human. And we won’t let anyone stop us. All of our rights and all of our futures are at stake.”

Events throughout the nation

More than 380 events were set from Maine to Hawaii, with the largest gatherings expected in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other big cities, organizers said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for USATODAY.com, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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