Women’s March targets Supreme Court, with abortion on line



WASHINGTON (AP)

The first Women’s March of the Biden administration heads straight for the steps of the Supreme Court on Saturday, part of nationwide protests that drew thousands to Washington and other cities to demand continued access to abortion in a year when conservative lawmakers and judges have put it in jeopardy.

Many thousands of women filled a square near the White House for a rally before the march. They waved signs that said “Mind your own uterus,” “I love someone who had an abortion” and “Abortion is a personal choice, not a legal debate,” among other messages. Some wore T-shirts reading simply “1973,” a reference to the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal for generations of American women.

Elaine Baijal, a 19-year-old student at American University, took cellphone photos with her friends and their signs as the event started. She said her mother told her of coming to a march for legal abortion with her own mother in the 1970s.

“It’s sad that we still have to fight for our right 40 years later. But it’s a tradition I want to continue,” Baijal said of the march.

Organizers say the Washington march will be among hundreds of abortion-themed protests around the country Saturday. The demonstrations come days before the start of a new term for the Supreme Court that will decide the future of abortion rights in the United States, after appointments of justices by President Donald Trump strengthened conservative control of the high court.

The march is part of “a fight to secure, safeguard, and strengthen our constitutional right to an abortion,” Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, said in a statement. “And it’s a fight against the Supreme Court justices, state lawmakers, and senators who aren’t on our side – or aren’t acting with the urgency this moment demands.”

The march comes a day after the Biden administration urged a federal judge to block the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since early September. It’s one of a series of cases that will give the nation’s divided high court occasion to uphold or overrule Roe v. Wade.

The Texas law was a focus of the speakers.

“We’re going to keep giving it to Texas,” Marsha Jones of the Afiya Center for Black women’s health care in Dallas, pledged to the Washington crowd. “You can no longer tell us what to do with our bodies!”

Alexis McGill Johnson, the president of Planned Parenthood nationally, told of women forced to drive many hours across state lines – sometimes multiple state lines – to end pregnancies in the weeks since the Texas law went into effect.

“The moment is dark … but that is why we are here,” Johnson told the crowd packed into Freedom Square and surrounding streets. With the upcoming Supreme Court term, “No matter where you are, this fight is at your doorstep right now.”

Speaking at an unrelated event in Maine, Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the Texas law “extreme, inhumane and unconstitutional” and said she’s working to make Roe v. Wade the “law of the land.”

She said she’s working with two Democrats and another Republican, and they’re “vetting” the language of their bill. Collins declined to identify her colleagues, but said the legislation will be introduced soon.

An opponent of women’s access to abortion called this year’s march theme “macabre.”

“What about equal rights for unborn women?” tweeted Jeanne Mancini, president of an anti-abortion group called March for Life.

The Women’s March has become a regular event – although interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – since millions of women turned out in the United States and around the world the day after the January 2017 inauguration of Trump. Trump endorsed punishing women for getting abortions and made appointment of conservative judges a mission of his presidency.

Without Trump as a central figure for women of varied political beliefs to rally against, and with the pandemic still going strong, organizers talk of hundreds of thousands of participants nationally Saturday, not the millions of 2017.

Latina comedian and activist Cristela Alonzo hosted Saturday’s rally in Washington, which featured speeches from many advocates and providers of abortion access. Actress Busy Philipps and swimmer Schuyler Bailar were to take part.

Security in the capital was much lighter than for a political rally a few weeks ago in support of Trump supporters jailed in the Jan. 6 insurrection. No fence was placed around the U.S. Capitol, with the Capitol Police chief saying there was nothing to suggest Saturday’s rally would be violent.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legal Updates/News

High Court sets Nov. 17 execution date for man convicted of killing wife in front of children

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A man who wishes to speed up his execution has been granted his request by the Mississippi State Supreme Court. The high court recently granted David Cox’s request to dismiss all appeals in his death sentence conviction and set his execution date for November 17, 2021. The court denied Cox’s motion […]

Read More
Legal Updates/News

Supreme Court reverses HC order, Gauri ‘killers’ to face stringent law | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a Karnataka HC decision and ruled that those accused in the murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh will face charges under the provisions of the stringent Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) apart from IPC Section 302 and arms and explosives laws. A bench of Justices […]

Read More
Legal Updates/News

Kerala High Court, Kerala High Court Judgement: Can’t Acquit Accused Even If Rape Survivor Of “Easy Virtue”: Kerala High Court

Woman being of easy virtue cannot be reason to absolve, Kerala High Court said. (Representational) Kochi: A woman or girl being of easy virtue or habituated to sexual intercourse cannot be reasons to absolve someone of rape, especially a father who is expected to be the “fortress and refuge” of his daughter, the Kerala High […]

Read More