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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Thousands march across US in support of abortion rights


Tens of thousands of people have been holding rallies across all 50 US states in support of abortion rights.

They have banded together in opposition to a new Texas law that severely restricts abortion access in the state.

Pro-choice advocates across the country are concerned that their constitutional rights will be eroded.

The Supreme Court will hear a case in the coming months that could overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision that legalised abortion nationwide.

Protesters marched to the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, holding signs that read, “Make abortion legal.”

Protests were held from here in Los Angeles, on the west coast, to Washington DC, on the east coast

The rally’s start was disrupted by about two dozen counter-demonstrators.

“The blood of innocent babies is on your hands!” yelled one man, but he was drowned out by the crowd’s singing and clapping, according to the Washington Post.

One marcher stated that she was there to support a woman’s right to choose.

“While I’ve never had to make that decision, fortunately, many women have, and our government and men have no say in the outcome when it comes to our bodies,” Robin Horn told Reuters.

The rallies were organised by those behind the annual Women’s March

The rallies were organised by the same people who organise the annual Women’s March, the first of which drew millions of people to protest a day after former President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

“This is a break-glass moment for people all over the country,” said Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of Women’s March.

“Many of us grew up believing that abortion would be legal and available to all of us,” she continued. “Seeing that at very real risk has been a wake-up call.”

In New York state, Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at two rallies.

“I’m sick and tired of having to fight over abortion rights,” she said. “It’s settled law in the nation and you are not taking that right away from us, not now not ever”.

Another rally was held in Austin, Texas, where the state legislature passed legislation on 1 September prohibiting abortions after the detection of what anti-abortion activists call a foetal heartbeat – a point at which many women are unaware they are pregnant.

The so-called Heartbeat Act also gives anyone the right to sue doctors who perform abortions after six weeks. Its supporters claim that its goal is to protect the unborn.

Similar restrictions are being considered by politicians in several other Republican-dominated states.

Rights groups petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the Texas law, but the justices ruled 5-4 against it.

On 1 December the court is set to hear a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion.

The decision could overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v Wade decision from 1973, which protects a woman’s right to an abortion until viability – the point at which a foetus is able to live outside the womb, which is usually at the beginning of the third trimester, or 28 weeks into a pregnancy.

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