Thousands of demonstrators are expected to march in cities throughout the nation on Saturday in support of abortion rights. The rallies are part of a nationwide campaign in response to a leaked majority draft opinion by the Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
In Washington, D.C., organizers of the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally are expecting as many as 17,000 people to march from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court on Saturday. Members of Congress, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, will attend “to call for increased access to abortion and a rejection of the overturn of Roe v. Wade.”
On Friday, House Democrats gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to voice their support for abortion rights.
An abortion-rights protester places portraits of some of the U.S Supreme Court judges during a demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Washington.
Gemunu Amarasinghe / AP
“Hands off women’s reproductive health care,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
“They won’t stop until a national nationwide abortion ban is enacted,” Rep. Barbara Lee added.
Even though the leaked draft opinion does not represent the final position of any member of the court, it has raised concerns that the court could rule as soon as next month, when it decides on a controversial abortion law in Mississippi.
On Wednesday, a bill to codify Roe into law failed to pass the Senate. Even with Vice President Kamala Harris presiding, Senate Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass federal abortion rights protections.
“This Senate failed to stand in defense of a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body,” the vice president said after the vote.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin voted to block the bill, saying it went too far.
“This is not Roe v. Wade codification, it’s an expansion,” he said.
On “CBS Mornings” Friday, Senate Minority Whip John Thune said the issue should be decided by individual states.
“This is a decision made by nine unelected judges and it’s now going to go back to the people and their elected representatives,” he said.
Senator Thune on what potential abortion changes could mean06:18
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats will continue to focus on this issue between now and the midterm elections this November.
“Elect more MAGA Republicans if you want to see a nationwide ban on abortions, if you want to see doctors and women arrested, if you want to see no exceptions for rape and incest,” Schumer said.
Meanwhile, Justice Clarence Thomas, who has come under criticism for his wife’s political activism, said Friday the leak has fundamentally changed the institution.
“You begin to look over your shoulder,” he said. “It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”