Women’s March demonstrators gather in US to defend abortion rights

Women's March demonstrators gather in US to defend abortion rights

Thousands of abortion-rights supporters gathered in hundreds of rallies nationwide Saturday for the first Women’s March demonstrations since President Trump left office.

More than 650 separate events were planned as part of the Rally for Abortion Justice, in Manhattan, Albany, and Seneca Falls, NY and hundreds of other cities.

Impassioned advocates in Texas — where President Biden’s Department of Justice is challenging the state’s “heartbeat law,” which effectively bans abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy — gathered early Saturday in Houston and Austin.

“I am embarrassed to be a Texan,” read one hand-lettered sign. “Not Ur Uterus, Not Ur Opinion,” proclaimed another.

The centerpiece event promised to be a massive march on the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.

A demonstrator wearing a pink-knitted “pussy hat” — the signature headgear of the Women’s March — wielded a sign reading, “If You’re Against Abortion, Don’t Get One,” as she stood on the court’s marble steps.

women's march
Women’s rights activists gather at Freedom Plaza for a pre-march rally of the annual Women’s March today in DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The nation’s highest court convenes Monday for its first fully in-person session since the coronavirus pandemic sent the justices into virtual hearings.

In December, the court’s nine justices are scheduled to hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case out of Mississippi that poses a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions that enshrined abortion rights in American law.

The Mississippi case concerns a state law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks — undercutting the court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that states can restrict abortion access after the point of fetal viability but not before.

Advances in medical technology have made viability a moving target, abortion opponents have argued, pointing to cases in which babies born at as few as 21 weeks’ gestation have survived.

The Women’s March advocates aim to push for Senate approval of a bill passed by the House of Representatives last month that would codify Roe v. Wade — and would overturn hundreds of state laws that restrict abortion via mandatory waiting periods, counseling requirements, and required ultrasounds.

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