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Thousands rally across US for abortion rights

Abortion rights activist rally at the Washington Monument before a march to the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 14, 2022

Thousands of activists, many in pink, took to the streets across the United States on Saturday in a national day of action calling for safe and legal access to abortion.

The demonstrations are a response to leaked draft opinion showing the United States Supreme Court’s conservative majority is considering overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 ruling guaranteeing abortion access nationwide.

About 3,000 people assembled in a central square in Brooklyn and prepared to carry a giant pink banner that read: “Our Bodies. Our Futures. Our Abortions.” The protesters, who included Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other influential Democrats, were of all genders and ages and many wore green.

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– ‘Whatever it takes’ –

Thousands also rallied in Texas and Kentucky, and more protests were planned in other major cities as well as at hundreds of smaller events across the country.

“We will be prepared to meet the moment, whether that’s rallying in the streets, petitioning state officials — whatever it takes.”

Democrats have pushed to codify abortion rights into federal law, a bid to pin down Republicans on the deeply divisive issue ahead of the crucial polls.

– ‘Women want choices’ –

The legislative result does not square with American opinion at large: a new Politico/Morning Consult poll has 53 percent of voters saying Roe should not be overturned, up three percentage points since last week, while 58 percent said it was important to vote for a candidate who supports abortion access.

The right to access abortion has long triggered activism, but the Supreme Court leak has spurred an uptick in demonstrations, including outside the homes of justices.

And many have cited the pending Supreme Court decision as a far greater invasion of privacy.

“It’s very important to be here to take a stand and really say to the people who are making these decisions that women want choices and they want freedom to have that choice,” said Viesha Floyd, 32, from the town of Waldorf, Maryland.

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