Protesters against abortion rights hold a rally in the United States, sparked by a draught Supreme Court judgment.

Protests in Washington served as a warm-up for events planned by pro-abortion activists across the country.


After the revelation of a draught Supreme Court judgment that might overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, protesters rallied under the slogan "off our bodies" in cities around the United States on Tuesday, asking that abortion rights be safeguarded.

Thousands of people turned out in New York City for an abortion-rights march, one of the largest in the country as Americans awoke to political and social turmoil months before the legislative midterm elections.

"I hope it inspires people to vote in the midterms," Alaina Feehan, 41, a talent manager in New York City, told Reuters, describing the moment as a "call to action."

Protests were held or planned in cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, as the national Women's March urged supporters to bring their families and signs to "courthouses and federal buildings everywhere," using the hashtag #BansOffOurBodies on social media.

Following the surprising publication of the 98-page draught opinion by the news source Politico late Monday, the Supreme Court became the focal point for some of the first protests on both sides of the issue.

Demonstrators gathered on the sidewalk just beyond the courthouse's barred marble steps across from the US Capitol, shouting support and opposition to the repeal of a constitutional right to abortion nationwide.

Some people knelt to pray.

A man wearing a pink Roe v. Wade sweatshirt tried in vain to muffle an anti-Roe protester's cries by placing his palm over her microphone.

'We're going backward,' says the narrator.

"Off our bodies," pro-abortion activists yelled back, adding "abortion saves lives." Others held banners that read, "Abortion is not a filthy word" and "Abortion is healthcare." "Thou shalt not steal my civic rights," said one sign held by a group of Roman Catholics who support abortion access.

By late afternoon, a larger and increasing crowd of well over 1,000 pro-abortion activists had taken over, with roughly two dozen anti-abortion activists forced to the sidelines.

"I just feel like we're going backward," Jane Moore, 64, said of the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide nearly 50 years ago. "At the same time, it tears my heart and makes me mad."

"I'm terrified of it." I have a lot of sympathy for... young women. Outside the court, Paula Termini, a nurse who has worked in delivery rooms and Planned Parenthood facilities, told Reuters: "You're starting all over again." "Recovering those gains is going to take a long time."

Protests in Washington served as a warm-up for events planned by pro-abortion activists across the country.

On Tuesday evening, some 300 protesters gathered in downtown Atlanta just outside the city's Centennial Olympic Park, their chanting in support of abortion rights occasionally drowned out by the roar of passing automobiles' horns.

"We will fight in these streets, we will fight in every street in America if we have to," Wendy Nevarez-Sanchez, 19, said as she held a banner that said, "Hands off my uterus."

Some protestors in the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena carried coat hangers, a chilling reference to "back-alley" abortions, which experts say could resurface in jurisdictions where abortion is illegal.

The day's largest rally took place in New York City, where at least 2,000 abortion-rights demonstrators gathered in Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, brandishing posters that read:  slogans as “Bans Off Our Bodies” and “Abortion is Freedom.” 

"I'm here to defend my people." "I'm here to say that reproductive justice is immigrant justice," Diana Moreno, 34, said, pointing out how the loss of abortion rights will disproportionately affect low-income women and the undocumented.

A few activists in the area of Foley Square waded into the street and temporarily halted traffic.

Earlier in the day, in San Francisco, a man dubbing himself the "Pro-Life Spiderman" scaled a downtown tower while streaming video footage of his journey to Instagram. The individual was taken into arrest, according to local news outlets.