Abortion rights supporters protest in cities nationwide
By Mike Baker, Alexandra Glorioso and Austyn Gaffney
Protesters across the country expressed their fury on Tuesday night about the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that strongly suggests Roe v. Wade will soon be overturned. Crowds marched and chanted in support of abortion rights in San Francisco and New York, in Chicago and Atlanta, in Houston and Salt Lake City.
Smaller protests took place in cities like Louisville, Kentucky, where a few dozen people held signs in front of the courthouse square. Jane Jones, 38, a public-school teacher, said she had become disillusioned with the Supreme Court and was angry about the apparent ruling. “Bodily autonomy is important to the sanctity of our democratic process,” she said.
But in downtown Seattle, thousands of people called for an escalating series of mass action, including possible national strikes if the constitutional right to abortion is abolished.
As protesters held signs such as “Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement” and chanted that it is time for people to “rise up,” speakers said that people needed to risk arrest through civil disobedience to ensure that a new generation of women did not end up with fewer rights than their mothers.
“We are facing the single biggest attack on women and reproductive rights in most of our lifetimes,” Councilwoman Kshama Sawant said.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Jay Inslee vowed that abortion rights would be protected in the state, saying he wanted to explore a state constitutional amendment. He also said he would work to provide resources for people who travel to Washington state for the procedure.
In another corner of the country, several hundred people gathered at the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee to show their support for abortion rights. Margaret Lamar, 68, was among the protesters who were waving signs reading “Bans Off Our Bodies” and encouraging drivers to honk in support.
“This is so important,” Lamar said. “I’m so disgusted and upset. And, I think I speak for most American women.”
Lauren Brenzel, who works for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and was one of the organizers of the protest, said more demonstrations would be planned for the coming weeks.
“This is about maintaining presence and making sure that our court system and our legislators and our leadership know that attacks on abortion like this are dangerous, unacceptable, and not what the people want,” Brenzel said.