Women’s March and protest in Washington DC for abortion rights
Women’s March and protest in Washington: The Women’s March gathered in the streets of the nation’s capital on Saturday to “fight for abortion rights” as nearly two dozen states moved to ban the procedure after Roe v. Wade was officially overturned two weeks ago.
Protesters began gathering in Franklin Square Saturday morning before heading to the White House in the afternoon.
The goal of the rally is to get President Joe Biden and his administration to declare a national public health emergency and take executive action to protect abortion rights, according to The Women’s March.
The demonstration comes a day after Biden signed an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to improve access to abortion pills and protect access to emergency medical care and family planning services, including various types of birth control, the White House said in a statement.
The regulation also seeks to protect patient privacy and access to accurate information, as well as promote the safety and security of patients, providers and clinics, the White House said.
Biden’s emergency declaration may free up additional funding and resources to help local governments meet the demand for reproductive health services, according to the Women’s March. It may also open the door for the federal government to use additional resources to limit the negative impact of abortion bans in some states.
So far, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida have restricted access to abortion, but have not banned the procedure. Eight states have pending abortion bans that could take effect later this year.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania, one of 21 states where abortion is still legal, took the first step Friday in amending the state constitution, giving voters the chance to say whether abortion should be considered a constitutional right as early as next year.
Against this backdrop, abortion rights advocates in Washington, D.C., have stepped up their efforts to pressure the Biden administration on abortion rights.
Women's March and protest in Washington Women's March and protest in Washington Women's March and protest in Washington
Instead of a mass march similar to the one organized in May after the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion overturning Roe, organizers of The Women’s March described Saturday’s demonstrations as “targeted civil disobedience” and even held pre-event training sessions in response to the event. to an increased likelihood of arrest.
At a protest in Los Angeles, Joel Altshuler said he was “still furious”
At a protest in Los Angeles, Joel Altshuler said he was “still furious” about the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion striking down Roe.
He expressed concern about people in states seeking to ban or restrict abortion who “would not only be denied access to an abortion, they could be criminalized for it.
“There will be more women who will die trying to get an illegal abortion,” Altshuler said.
Although data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of abortions has decreased in recent years, the procedure is still common. The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights think tank, estimates that nearly 1 in 4 U.S. women will have an abortion by age 45.
Protesters and abortion rights supporters take part in the ‘Bans Off Our Bodies’ rally on the National Mall in Washington on May 14, 2022.
Abortion rights protesters and supporters take part in the ‘Bans Off Our Bodies’ rally on the National Mall in Washington on May 14. Valerie Plesch for NBC News
Women's March and protest in Washington
Teisha Kimmons, a protester at the Chicago rally, said she might not be alive today if she hadn’t had a legal abortion at age 15.
Emily Kellis, who attended the rally in Los Angeles, said she had an abortion at age 25. Kellis said she was “very grateful” to have access to an abortion.
“If I had that child, I don’t know that I would have been a very good parent to them at that time,” she said. “. It would disrupt my career, my husband’s career, all of our families.”
The protests come three days after the Senate failed to advance a Democratic-led bill that would have preserved broad protections for legal abortion nationwide.