Cities across the US came out in mass protest against the potential repeal of Roe v Wade following a Supreme Court leak earlier in the month.
Following the leaked draft opinion that revealed the US Supreme Court had provisionally voted to overturn Roe v Wade – the landmark ruling that legalised abortion nationwide in America – tens of thousands of women across the country have joined nationwide protests.
Saturday 14 May saw more than 380 Bans Off Our Bodies demonstrations for abortion rights take place in cities including LA, New York, Chicago, Washington, Boston, San Diego and Austin, Texas.
Protests began outside the Supreme Court on 2 May, when US journal Politico claimed it had obtained an initial majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated in the court on 10 February.
Videos showed protests forming outside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC, with journalist for the Washington Examiner Cami Mondeaux sharing an image of barricades going up around the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, “just minutes after reports from Politico were leaked indicating SCOTUS has voted to overturn Roe v Wade”.
At Saturday’s protests, many people brought homemade signs with drawings of hangers saying, “Never again,” or phrases such as “Shame SCOTUS”.
Famous faces including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Christy Turlington, Laura Dern, Cyndi Lauper, Kate Beckinsale, Dove Cameron and Ricki Lake also attended the march.
Louis-Dreyfus, in attendance at the New York City march, held a bearing her iconic line from her Emmy-winning role on Veep:”If men got pregnant you could get an abortion at an ATM”.
“What an inspiring day it was for everyone who showed up to the @womensmarch rally! It was such an honor to be asked to speak,” Jovovich wrote, sharing her passionate speech to Instagram.
Before Saturday’s protests, the US Senate failed to pass a bill that would have enshrined a nationwide right to abortion, with the vote going 49-51.
Political figures including Hillary Clinton have spoken out in support of the demonstrations, writing on Twitter: “Don’t feel helpless about the extreme members of the Supreme Court taking away women’s rights. Join a rally in your area this Saturday, support pro-choice candidates, speak out! #BansOffOurBodies”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams joined the Bans Off Our Bodies protests in Brooklyn and told a cheering crowd: “We stand with everyone fighting to protect reproductive rights and against anti-choice extremists trying to strip away nearly 50 years of precedent.”
The rallies demanded support for abortion funds, reproductive health groups, abortion providers, and state- and federal-level protections for abortion care, as it’s estimated that a ban may lead to a 21% increase in the number of pregnancy-related deaths.