Battle for abortion rights hits America’s streets
WASHINGTON: The abortion rights battle takes to the streets across America on Saturday, with hundreds of demonstrations planned as part of a new “Women’s March” aimed at countering an unprecedented conservative offensive to restrict the termination of pregnancies.
The fight has become even more intense since Texas adopted a law on September 1 banning almost all abortions, unleashing a veritable legal guerrilla warfare and a counterattack in Congress, but with few public demonstrations until now.
Two days before the US Supreme Court, which will have the final say on the contentious issue, is due to reconvene, nearly 200 organisations have finally called on abortion rights defenders to make their voices heard from coast to coast.
The flagship event will be held in the nation’s capital Washington, where thousands are expected to march to the Supreme Court, which nearly 50 years ago recognised the right of women to have an abortion in its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
Now the court, stacked by former president Donald Trump with conservative justices, seems ready to head in the opposite direction.
It has already refused to block the Texas law and has accepted reviewing a restrictive Mississippi law that could provide an opportunity to overturn its precedent.
Rallies are planned in these two conservative states’ capitals, Austin and Jackson, as well as in more than 600 cities in all 50 states. According to the organisers, nearly a quarter million people are expected to turn out across the United States.
“Together, we are joining hands to advocate for a country where abortion isn’t just legal — it’s accessible, affordable and destigmatised,” said the organisers of the Rally for Abortion Justice in a statement.
The group called on Congress to enshrine the right to abortion in federal law, to protect it from any possible reversal by the Supreme Court.
A bill to that effect was adopted a week ago in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats, but has no chance of passing the Senate where Republicans have enough votes to block it.
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