May 23, 2022
Abortion rights activists plan protests on National Mall
Abortion rights activists are planning a demonstration on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday with an estimated 17,000 attendees. Organizers of the “Bans Off DC” event are calling for “mobilizations” across the country “to demonstrate that support for abortion is widely and deeply felt.” “Together we will send a strong message that abortion access…

Abortion rights activists are planning a demonstration on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday with an estimated 17,000 attendees.

Organizers of the “Bans Off DC” event are calling for “mobilizations” across the country “to demonstrate that support for abortion is widely and deeply felt.”

“Together we will send a strong message that abortion access must be protected and supported,” the organizers said in an online announcement.

The event is being hosted by several organizations, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The event is in response to the leak of a draft majority opinion by the Supreme Court which would overturn Roe v. Wade.

“This is an unprecedented leak from the court that, if true, would reverse nearly 50 years of precedent and explicitly end federal constitutional protections for abortion,” the announcement stated.

The leaked opinion has mobilized abortion rights activists over the past week, with demonstrators converging at the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices to protest.

Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have condemned the protests as crossing the line.

“I think it’s reprehensible. Stay away from homes and families of elected officials and members of the court,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, told CNN on Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Kentucky Republican, called the protests “an attempt to replace the rule of law with the rule of mobs.”

“Trying to scare federal judges into ruling a certain way is far outside the bounds of First Amendment speech or protest,” he said.

Other lawmakers have backed the protesters.

“If protests are peaceful, yes,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Tuesday. “My house — there’s protests three, four times a week outside my house. The American way to peacefully protest is OK.”

The leaked Supreme Court decision also spurred an attempt by Senate Democrats to pass legislation that would codify the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion into law.

Republicans opposed the measure, known as the Women’s Health Protection Act, arguing that the bill would go far beyond codifying Roe v. Wade by erasing virtually all restrictions on abortion enacted by states.

Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, joined Republicans in opposing the measure, calling it “an expansion” of abortion.

The Senate voted 49-51 on a procedural vote on the measure, falling well shy of the necessary 60 votes.

Valerie Richardson contributed to this article.

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