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Anti-abortion advocates march through Washington, hoping this will be the last time under Roe

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Anti-abortion advocates march through Washington, hoping this will be the last time under Roe

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WASHINGTON — The annual anti-abortion rally in the nation’s capital was more like a victory celebration as speakers expressed growing optimism that their long-sought goal, a sweeping rollback of abortion rights in America, was finally at hand.

Thousands of protesters gathered in the freezing cold on Friday and marched to the Supreme Court, which has indicated it will allow states to impose tougher restrictions on abortion with a ruling in the coming months – and may to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade who asserted the constitutional right to abortion.

“It doesn’t seem real. There’s so much hope and vibrancy and happiness and joy in this thing,” said Jordan Moorman of Cincinnati. “I really believe we’re in a post-Roe generation.”

The March for Life outside the Supreme Court on Friday.Patrick Semansky/AP

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, in a statement on Saturday, said the established right under Roe “is under attack like never before” and they said they are committed “to ensuring that this country is not backing down in terms of women’s equality”.

“We must ensure that our daughters and granddaughters have the same basic rights that their mothers and grandmothers fought for and won on this day 49 years ago,” they said.

The annual March for Life rally, held a day before the 49th anniversary of the Roe decision, came amid a Covid surge that limited attendance at the National Mall. Some abortion opponents posted on the event’s Facebook page that they would not attend due to vaccination mandates for people going to restaurants and other places in the District of Columbia.

Still, the rally drew a crowd of thousands, with a strong contingent of young people and students carried by schools and church groups. The mood was overwhelmingly upbeat, with many considering the end of Roe v. Wade as inevitable.

Protesters attend the March for Life Friday rally on the National Mall in Washington. Susan Walsh/AP

On Friday, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Advocacy Fund, told the crowd that Roe was not settled law and “we hope and pray that this year 2022 will bring historic change. for life”.

“If Roe falls, the battle lines will shift, but make no mistake, the fight for life will have to continue in the United States and here in DC,” Mancini said.

Reverend Andrew Rudmann, a Catholic priest from New Orleans, was attending his 11th event. “I hope this will be the last March for Life,” he said.

“Sometimes I would come to the March and it would be great to be united with people who share my beliefs, but there would also be this heaviness,” he said. “This time, the whole language and mood is different.”

The festive, triumphant mood of the day was perhaps best summed up by a New York contingent bouncing outside the Supreme Court building with dancing nuns and drummers playing Latin beats.

Abortion rights groups fear that at least 26 states could be in line to further limit abortion access if Roe is weakened or overthrown. In December, the court indicated in a landmark case that it would uphold a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and allow states to ban abortions even earlier. The Mississippi affair directly concerns Roe.

Courts also handed Texas abortion providers a string of defeats to block a law that since September has banned abortions after heart activity is detected, which is usually about six weeks and before some women don’t know they are pregnant. Another loss for Texas clinics came on Thursday, when the Supreme Court declined to expedite an ongoing challenge to the law, which providers say is now expected to remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

“This law is cruel and unconstitutional, and I am deeply disappointed that our justice system has done very little to stop it,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, which runs four abortion clinics in Texas.

Anti-abortion advocates march through Washington, hoping this will be the last time under Roe

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