Americans turned out en masse to call for abortion rights (Picture: REX/EPA/Getty/Reuters)
Thousands of people marched on the US Supreme Court to demand continued access to abortions, after conservative politicians and judges moved against it.
Demonstrators descended on the streets surrounding the court in Washington, chanting ‘my body, my choice’.
It was one of hundreds of protests over the issue nationwide, with women expressing sadness that they ‘still have to fight’ for the right after decades of campaigning.
Placards read ‘bans off our bodies’, ‘mind your own uterus’ and ‘I love someone who had an abortion’, while some wore T-shirts simply saying ‘1973’, in reference to the landmark Roe v Wade decision which made abortion legal for generations of American women.
Elaine Baijal, a 19-year-old student at American University, explained that her mother and grandmother had joined a march for legal abortion in the 1970s.
‘It’s sad that we still have to fight for our right 40 years later,’ she said.
Saturday’s marches took place two days before the start of a new term for the Supreme Court, which will decide the future of abortion rights in the United States.
Former President Donald Trump appointed justices to strengthen conservative control of the high court.
On Friday, current President Joe Biden’s administration urged a federal judge to block the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which has seen most abortions banned in Texas since early September.
It is one of a series of cases that will give the country’s divided high court the chance to uphold or overrule Roe v Wade.
The Texas law sparked many of the demonstrations, while there were also counter protests, with riot police standing guard near one group in Washington.
‘We’re going to keep giving it to Texas,’ Marsha Jones of the Afiya Centre for Black women’s health care in Dallas told the Washington crowd.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke to one young member of the crowd at the abortion rights protest (Picture: AP)
‘You can no longer tell us what to do with our bodies.’
Alexis McGill Johnson, the national president of Planned Parenthood, said women had been forced to drive many hours across various states to end pregnancies in the weeks after the Texas law came into effect.
She told crowds in Freedom Square: ‘The moment is dark… but that is why we are here. No matter where you are, this fight is at your doorstep right now.’
In Illinois, hundreds rallied in Springfield’s Old State Capitol square, including the Illinois Handmaids.
They wore red robes and bonnets reminiscent of the subjugated women in Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale.
Protesters at Liberty Plaza, in downtown Atlanta, wrote ‘blood is on your hands’ on the American flag (Picture: Shutterstock)
On the west coast, thousands marched through Los Angeles to a rally in front of City Hall and chanted ‘Abortion on demand and without apology: only revolution can make women free’.
One demonstrator, Kayla Selsi, said: ‘Women’s rights are being taken away, and it’s highly affecting women of lower class.
‘I feel safer in California as a woman, but Texas is obviously going in one direction and it scares me that other states could go the same way.’
At the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Democrat Melody Hernandez said opponents of abortion emboldened by the recent developments in Texas and at the Supreme Court would not prevail.
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‘An overwhelming majority of Arizonans, of Americans, support everything we are standing here for today,’ she said.
‘Don’t let anyone fool you – we are the majority. We are made… of people from all walks of life, ethnicity, party, nationality.’
An opponent of women’s access to abortion branded the march theme ‘macabre’.
Jeanne Mancini, president of anti-abortion group March for Life, tweeted: ‘What about equal rights for unborn women?’
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Source by metro.co.uk