Health Care Organizations Rally for Abortion Rights in DC
WASHINGTON — Thousands of protestors gathered on Saturday to march for abortion rights from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court building.
The rally, called “Bans Off Our Bodies” was arranged by health organizations and advocates from across the country, such as Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Abortion Rights Action League.
“As soon as the leak happened, we saw a huge amount of support. Planned Parenthood, in coalition with other members like UltraViolet, Women’s March, MoveOn and so many others got together with our team [to organize],” said Kayla Marquez from Planned Parenthood to The Well News during the protest.
Marquez said while there was already a demonstration planned for May 14, the leaked Supreme Court documents sparked more support from coalition partners interested in arranging the event.
A Supreme Court opinion draft, leaked by Politico on May 2, revealed that Roe v. Wade, a legal case that protects abortion rights in the United States, could be overturned.
Senate Democrats failed to pass legislation on May 11 that would have enshrined abortion rights into federal law.
“Restricting access to abortion doesn’t just restrict access to everybody; it targets people of color and people in low-income communities,” said Marquez.
“This issue is not only [about] health, it is an issue of race and class,” she continued.
One of the demonstrators who spoke with The Well News was a woman in her mid-20s who recently sought access to abortion services with Planned Parenthood.
“Access to safe abortions is so important,” said Danielle Tallafuss.
“I live in a major metropolitan area and still had to travel three hours to get access to an abortion,” she said.
Many of the organizations rallying on Saturday also said that abortion access is necessary for keeping individuals healthy.
“Abortion access saves lives,” said Lilian Medina Romero, who works at Catholics for Choice, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group dedicated to protecting abortion access.
“When people don’t have access to safe abortions, they might do it in other ways that put their health at risk,” said Romero.
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