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Hundreds of abortion rights protests planned for Saturday in response to SCOTUS leak

Washington, DC is expected to be the site of the greatest turnout.

Hundreds of abortion rights protests are planned across the country on Saturday following an explosive leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that said the conservative majority of the court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Women’s March and Planned Parenthood are among the organizations behind more than 450 protests across the country, which are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people.

Washington, DC, is expected to be the site of the largest turnout, with 17,000 people expected to gather on the grounds of the Washington Monument, according to a permit issued by the National Park Service to the Women’s March.

“Losing the right to abortion has consequences. Women will pay the price,” Women’s March Executive Director Rachel O’Leary Carmona said in a statement. “We can stop this tragedy, and now is the time.”

The “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by a march to the United States Supreme Court at 2 p.m. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren will be among the speakers at the rally, according to the permit. There will also be a performance by musician Toshi Reagon, organizers said.

A counter-protest is also being organized by Students for Life which is due to start at noon Saturday at the Washington Monument and also head towards the Supreme Court.

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin are also expected to see heavy turnouts for the “Bans Off Our Bodies” protests.

A rally hosted by the Women’s March Foundation at Los Angeles City Hall will feature speakers including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Representative Karen Bass and lawyer and women’s rights advocate Gloria Allred, according to the organizers.

The protests join recent demonstrations by abortion rights activists — and some anti-abortion protesters — following the leaked SCOTUS draft ruling on the Mississippi case that challenges Roe’s ruling. landmark that has guaranteed women’s right to abortion for almost 50 years. .

Amid the protests, an eight-foot-tall fence was erected at the Supreme Court last week.

The high court should rule publicly on the case in question – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – by the end of June.

A majority of Americans think Roe should be respected, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. But if Roe is overturned, at least 26 states will ban abortion or severely restrict access, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights organization.

This week, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have enshrined the right to abortion in federal law. The legislation failed in the Senate 49-51, without the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP-led filibuster.

President Joe Biden has condemned Senate Republicans for failing to act ‘at a time when women’s constitutional rights are under unprecedented attack – and it goes against the will of the majority of the American people”.

Ahead of the planned protests, House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi gathered on Friday to call on judges to stand up for abortion access.

“Americans are marching and making their voices heard,” Pelosi said. “Public sentiment is paramount. We will never stop fighting for patients and their healthcare.”

ABC News

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