Several hundred people gathered Sunday in cold, drizzly weather a few blocks from the White House to register their disdain for the Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn Roe v. Wade. Many carried home made signs calling for “safe, affordable” access to reproductive rights.
The crowd of marchers was confronted by about a dozen anti-abortion protesters who chanted through a bullhorn.
The marchers got underway a few minutes early, making their way through an otherwise mostly empty downtown Washington chanting “our bodies, our choice” and “our rights are not up for debate” as they went. Those chants continued as the group stopped on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.
As she made the short walk to the White House, Elise Iannone, 30, recalled the day the court handed down its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. First she felt sadness, she said. Then anger. Now, she said, it’s about being motivated to reverse the damage she believes has been done.
“It’s important to protect anyone with a uterus to be able to do what they want with their body,” said Iannone, a Virginia resident. “This isn’t a church or a state responsibility.”
Protesters motivated to march for reproductive rights and more
Though not the central location for this year’s march, protesters still gathered in downtown D.C. to voice their frustration with the Dobbs decision and its impact on their lives and those of their loved ones.
“Roe has been around almost my entire life,” said Lynn Hacker, a 50-year-old Maryland resident who was attending the event with her 15-year-old daughter. “I never had to think about reproductive rights, but she will.”
Hacker said she cried when the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in June overturning Roe. But as much as abortion was the driving force for many who gathered in Washington, it wasn’t the only issue.
“We’re in a dangerous period our in our nation,” said Jennifer Tucker, a Washington, D.C., resident. The ebbing of abortion rights, she said, is “just one vehicle to suppress the wishes of the public.”
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Kamala Harris to mark 50th anniversary of Roe by urging greater access
Vice President Kamala Harris commemorated the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade Sunday by traveling to Florida to deliver remarks, making the case for a federal law to protect reproductive rights.
Harris will deliver her remarks in Tallahassee, the state’s capital. The venue is no accident: The Legislature passed a law banning abortion after 15 weeks. The state Supreme Court is reviewing a legal challenge to the law. Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Republican, said she would support a 12-week abortion ban, while abortion activists are pushing for other restrictions.
Harris will urge Congress to pass legislation that would enshrine into federal law the right to abortion. She also is expected to underscore the steps the administration has taken to safeguard reproductive rights in light of last summer’s ruling and slam Republican efforts to further restrict abortion access.
Michael Collins, USA TODAY