Protesters facing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could strike down the constitutional right to abortion have planned rallies coast to coast on Saturday to express their outrage and rally for the fight ahead.
More than 380 events have been held from Maine to Hawaii, with the largest gatherings expected in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other major cities, organizers said.
In the nation’s capital, activists planned to rally at the Washington Monument before heading to the Supreme Court, now surrounded by a security barrier.
Tens of thousands were expected to attend ‘Bans off our Bodies’ events, providing an outlet for the anger and frustration of abortion rights activists after a leaked draft Supreme Court ruling suggested that Roe v. Wade would be canceled.
“If this is a fight they want, this is a fight they will get,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March.
Polls show most Americans want to preserve access to abortion — at least in the early stages of pregnancy — but the Supreme Court appears poised to let states have the final say.
If that happens, about half of the states, mostly in the South and Midwest, should quickly ban abortion.
The upcoming decision is expected to energize voters, potentially shaping the upcoming midterm elections.
Saturday’s rallies came three days after the Senate failed to muster enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade. Sponsors included Women’s March, Move On, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, MoveOn, SEIU and other organizations.
Carmona said the fight will continue at polling stations, protests and other places “until we have a full restoration of our rights.”
“It’s no exaggeration to say that for the women of this country, it will be a summer of rage,” she said.