Thousands of pro-abortion advocates rallied across the country on Saturday to express their anger over the U.S. Supreme Court’s potential repeal of Roe v. Wade.
The demonstrations come in response to the leak of a draft majority opinion, which has since been authenticated by Chief Justice John Roberts, indicating that the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Reuters reported that the mass demonstration’s organizers are saying these gatherings mark the start of a potential “summer of rage” if the Supreme Court moves forward with repealing Roe.
The “Bans Off Our Bodies” gatherings were planned by Planned Parenthood, Women’s March, and other pro-abortion organizations. The groups organized more than 400 protests for Saturday.
If Roe is repealed, several states are expected to implement additional restrictions on abortion, while others are expected to vastly expand abortion access. A repeal of Roe would not result in a federal ban on abortion. It would, however, allow each state to establish its own legislative approach to the matter.
On Saturday, there were large gatherings in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more. There were also accompanying counterprotests led by pro-life groups.
At the protests in Washington, D.C., protesters gathered around the Washington Monument at the National Mall, where they waved placards with messages condemning the Supreme Court and expressing solidarity with the pro-abortion movement.
In downtown Brooklyn, thousands of pro-abortion advocates crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan.
Elizabeth Holtzman, an 80-year-old attendee of the protest who represented New York in Congress from 1973 to 1981, said that the leaked majority opinion “treats women as objects, as less than full human beings.”
In Los Angeles, outside Los Angeles City Hall, Malcolm DeCesare, a 34-year-old intensive care unit nurse, said that making abortion illegal could put the lives of women who seek alternatives at risk.
At a pro-abortion protest in Atlanta, Georgia, more than 400 people assembled in a small park in front of the state’s capitol, while a much smaller group of counterprotesters peacefully demonstrated on a nearby sidewalk.
One 23-year-old counterprotester held a sign that read “Stop Child Sacrifice.”
This counterprotester said, “Jesus had just a small group, but his message was more powerful. I’m hoping to plant some seeds in their hearts to change minds.”
Despite the sizable protests, recent polling suggests that overturning Roe stands to benefit Republicans in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.