Thousands of people took to streets in the United States in response to the draft ruling leaked to the media showing that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 established guarantees for access to abortion at the national level.
In a central square in Brooklyn, New York, protesters held up a giant banner reading, “Our Bodies, Our Futures, Our Abortions.”
The march of some 3,000 people was led by Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as other influential Democrats who walked alongside protesters wearing the green colour symbolic of pro-choice activism.
“We are going to keep fighting until we win,” Schumer told AFP. “America is on our side.”
“There are a lot of people with very traditional values who are scared of women who can make decisions about their own bodies,” Easter added as crowds poured into lower Manhattan.
Thousands of people also gathered in Texas and Kentucky and in other parts of the country in smaller gatherings.
The leak of the Supreme Court document fueled fury over the potential annulment of the right to abortion before the mid-term elections to be held in November when control of both chambers is at stake.
Democrats have campaigned to make abortion rights federal law, an attempt to pin Republicans on the controversial issue before the polls.
The law for the protection of women’s health, approved by the House of Representatives, would guarantee health professionals the right to perform abortions, and patients to receive them. But Republicans and a Democrat in the US Senate scuttled efforts to advance the measure earlier this week.
Republican-controlled states have taken some steps to restrict the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy in recent months, and if Roe v. Wade, could grant them more room to manoeuvre to restrict or prohibit such a procedure.