Rallies in defense of the federal right to abortion took place in U.S. cities

U.S. abortion rights supporters who have participated in numerous demonstrations, marches and rallies have expressed their outrage that the U.S. Supreme Court may soon overturn the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and limit choices for women.

The protests erupted after a draft ruling suggesting that the court’s conservative majority would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was leaked to the media. Activists began talking about the need to mobilize against overturning the decision because Republican-led states would be willing to impose even tougher restrictions at their level.

Supporters of abortion rights were outraged that the Senate could not get enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade.

“I can’t believe I still have to protest about this today,” said Samantha Rivers, 64, a federal government employee.

Caitlin Lohr, 34, of Washington, D.C., wore a black T-shirt with an image of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg (a liberal) and the words “disagree” and “vote.” “I think women should have the right to choose how they do with their bodies and their lives. And I don’t think banning abortions will stop abortions. It would just make them unsafe and could cost a lot of women their lives,” she said. “If they want a showdown, they’ll get it,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March.

At the same time, several demonstrators of opposing views shouted into the microphone: “Abortion is not health care because pregnancy is not a disease.”

Hundreds of protests of actions in various states were attended by many people. The largest rallies took place in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities. Polls show that most Americans want to keep access to abortion – at least in the early stages of pregnancy – but the Supreme Court is probably ready to leave the last word to the states. If that happens, about half of the states, mostly in the South and Midwest, are expected to quickly ban abortion.