CHICAGO (CBS) — A few thousand abortion rights demonstrators gathered for a rally at Daley Plaza on Saturday, demanding the continued right of women to have access to safe, legal abortion.
The rally began shortly before noon, and the group began marching south down Clark Street shortly before 1:30 p.m. The group headed back north on Dearborn Street and returned to Daley Plaza.
The Chicago Teachers Union helped to organize the event with other women’s rights groups like Planned Parenthood. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was also in attendance.
“We hope that we will be the last generation to have to march and advocate for all women, nonbinary folks, trans men, access to safe and legal reproductive health care,” said the Rev. Nicolette Penaranda of the First Lutheran Church of the Trinity.
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The protests, which are happening across the country today, were prompted by newly enacted abortion restrictions in Texas and the abortion law in Mississippi, which is before the U.S. Supreme Court.
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There was also a smaller group of anti-abortion activists on the plaza.
The Texas law bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Many women do not even know they are pregnant after six weeks, especially those who have irregular periods or don’t closely track the dates of their cycles.
The law bars state officials from enforcing it, which could make it difficult to challenge its legality. Instead, it allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion.
The Mississippi law, which bans abortion after 15 weeks, is before the Supreme Court, which established a woman’s right to abortion in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision five decades ago. Mississippi’s law has never gone into effect. Lower courts ruled that law violates the court’s decision in Roe.