Over 1 million protesters gathered for marches across the country on Saturday to attend a national day of action in support of abortion and reproductive rights. Themed ‘Bans Off Our Bodies,’ the mobilization was a direct response to two cataclysmic events in the world of abortion:
- a leaked draft opinion signaling the Supreme Court’s majority decision to overturn the 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which concerns a 15-week abortion ban out of Mississippi; and
- the Women’s Health Protection Act‘s failure this week to secure the 60-vote threshold needed to make it to the floor for a vote, after all Senate Republicans, joined by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), prevented Senate cloture, which would have forced a vote.
We DID IT! There were OVER 1 MILLION people who rallied for our right to abortion at over 450 events nationwide and around the world. We are so proud to be in this fight with you and continue to tell anti-abortion politicians: #BansOffOurBodies. pic.twitter.com/il5Y2et5K1— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 14, 2022
When the Supreme Court’s final decision is issued before the end of the term (likely in June), it will represent the biggest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. The anger, indignation and shock felt in America right now has reached a new peak—and it was on full display this weekend.
Many marchers’ signs made statements about their bodily autonomy.
The status of abortion rights usually indicates the health (or lack thereof) of a country’s democracy—and many marchers called for a more healthy U.S. democracy.
Demonstrators directed anger toward Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the leaked opinion, and the other four justices whose signatures appear alongside Alito’s.
Demonstrators made clear their disgust with Republican lawmakers who create and support anti-abortion laws.
At the state level, the states passing abortion bans are all GOP-led, and nationally, Senate Republicans blocked a bill last week that would have codified Roe into federal law.
Some marchers’ signs made poignant (and funny) arguments about the war on reproductive anatomy, calling it a war on women.
Young women made clear: They’re paying attention too.
Those who grew up in the era of Roe expressed their shock at the rollback on constitutional rights.
We stand on the shoulders of so many giants who for generations fought for our rights and for our freedoms.— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) May 14, 2022
We’re continuing the fight today to keep #BansOffOurBodies — and we’ll never stop. pic.twitter.com/TsTQp9bD3Y
A huge number of male abortion allies showed up this weekend, prompting a new hashtag: #MenAtTheMarch.
This happened in rural Minnesota tonight. Nearly 100 people showed up with short notice to rally in support of abortion rights. One thing is clear: Red Wing supports reproductive freedom (and don’t you forget it!)! #BansOffOurBodies pic.twitter.com/gWXB5foyp5— Ceri Everett (She/Her) (@CeriEverett) May 13, 2022
The midterm elections are the next battleground, demonstrators’ signs indicated.
Sign and share Ms.’s relaunched “We Have Had Abortions” petition—whether you yourself have had an abortion, or simply stand in solidarity with those who have—to let the Supreme Court, Congress and the White House know: We will not give up the right to safe, legal, accessible abortion.