WASHINGTON – Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday in front of the US Supreme Court to protest against the laws passed this year banning abortion in several states, and to defend the high court’s 1973 decision that legalized nationwide a woman’s right to have her pregnancy interrupted.
A number of Democratic hopefuls for the 2020 presidential election – Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker – took part in the demonstration before the Supreme Court in one of the 350 marches organized aross the country under the slogan “Stop the bans.”
“Our bodies, our choice!” was chanted in the early afternoon by those taking part in the demonstration, organized by more than 70 civil rights groups and defenders of a woman’s right to reproductive health, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood.
Notable amid a sea of pink and purple posters distributed by the organizers were such slogans as “Men should not be making laws about my body” ... “Abortion is a human right” ... “Stop the war on women” ... “Protect safe, legal abortion,” and many more.
The march channeled the indignation that exploded across the country following last week’s passing of an Alabama state law that bans abortion in practically all cases, without admitting exemptions for rape or incest, and which threatens doctors who practice abortions with life imprisonment.
That measure falls in line with others recently passed in Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia, which ban abortion once the fetal heartbeat has been detected. This can occur in the sixth week of pregnancy, when many women are still unaware they are with child.
Although none of these measures have yet taken effect and some are blocked by lawsuits in the courts, activists fear that if these cases reach the Supreme Court with its conservative majority, the court can erode the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion 45 years ago.
“The right for a woman to control her own body is a fundamental constitutional right, and we have got to do everything we can to defend it,” Bernie Sanders said during the protest in a statement on the CNN channel.