Videos: Thousands Gather Nationwide for 'Ban Off Our Bodies' Protest in Support of Roe v. Wade
Saturday’s ‘Ban Off Our Bodies’ protest, organized in part by the Women’s March, was slated to attract up to 17,000 individuals to the National Mall in Washington, DC, according to a permit approved by the National Park Service. More than 380 same-day demonstrations were scheduled across the US in support of upholding the 1973 abortion decision.
Thousands of abortion rights advocates took to Washington, DC, on May 14 to assemble in protest against the leaked majority draft opinion–a document authored by SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito that appeared to show that he was joined by Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh in voting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Demonstrators toting ‘Bans Off Our Bodies’ signs met at the National Mall and began marching to the US Supreme Court building around 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The event wrapped by 4 p.m.
“I think that women should have the right to choose what to do with their bodies and their lives. And I don’t think banning abortion will stop abortion. It just makes it unsafe and can cost a woman her life,” Caitlin Loehr, a 34-year-old protester told the Association Press.
Some demonstrators were seen wearing shirts emblazoned with the phrase: “Our bodies, our futures, our abortions.”
The possibility of the 49-year-old federal decision being overturned also brought out anti-abortion advocates who organized their own counter-protest outside the high court.
However, the nation’s capital was not the only site of pro-choice demonstrations, as more than 380 separate demonstrations were planned across the country, according to USA Today.
In New York, where thousands of abortion advocates marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and into Manhattan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) appeared a bit out-of-touch with his NYC constituents.
Schumer “has the nerve to show up at #BansOffOurBodies and tell us to ‘keep marching.’ New Yorkers tell him to stop marching, go back to DC, and get something done,” tweeted Sarah Taitz.
In addition to support from Women's March, sponsors of the nationwide demonstrations included Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet, MoveOn, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Abortion Rights Action League.
Since the leak, Democratic lawmakers in Congress have attempted to codify abortion rights into law, but have failed to make headway on the issue since it failed to reach cloture in the US Senate.
Additionally, the House Judiciary Committee has announced its intent to hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 18, regarding the potential implications of the high court overturning abortion–a move that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen believes will have a lasting impact on society.
“I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” Yellen said on Tuesday, responding to a question posed by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).