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Demonstration in front of the Supreme Court | Fear of a “rollback” for the right to abortion

(Washington) More than a thousand protesters marched throughout the day Tuesday outside the Supreme Court in Washington, the majority of them worried about a “rollback” for the right to abortion in the United States, which a draft decision threatens.

Posted at 7:55 p.m.
Updated at 8:13 p.m.

Ulysse BELLIER and Daxia ROJAS
France Media Agency

At the end of the afternoon, more than a thousand gathered in front of the white marble building to shout their anger: “abortion is a right”, “abortion is part of the right to health “.

“I came to demonstrate today because I couldn’t stay at home,” Adriane Busby, 40, told AFP, wearing a red bicycle helmet. “I didn’t think we would still be here, in 2022, demonstrating and debating on this issue,” she adds.

The Politico site caused a political explosion on Monday evening by revealing, on the basis of an unpublished leak of an internal document, that a majority of the justices of the Supreme Court were ready to bury the judgment “Roe v. Wade” of 1973, which protects the right of American women to terminate their pregnancies.

This likely reversal “is a scandalous violation of women’s privacy and their ability to dispose of their bodies,” said Adriane Busby.

” Shocked ”

Like her, hundreds of demonstrators, the vast majority in favor of the right to abortion, gathered from Monday evening and all day Tuesday, with signs like “the real monsters wear (judges’) robes” or “keep your political decisions out of my body”.

“I’m in shock,” Tarra Kuroda, a 47-year-old woman, almost the age of the “Roe v. Wade”. “I have two young daughters, and I’m here for them too, […] to protect their future,” she says, holding a “My body, my choice” sign.

Around the demonstrators are present many journalists, under the gray sky, in the heart of the federal capital.

From this draft decision, not final, Tarra hopes that he will “bring people together for the midterm elections (scheduled for November) to elect people who will hopefully vote in favor” of a law authorizing the abortion at the federal level – a call similar to that made by Democratic President Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Victoria Lord, a 61-year-old historian, carries a ‘never again’ sign with a design of a coat hanger, which was used in the past to perform clandestine abortions.

“I am of a certain age and I remember friends who had had illegal and very dangerous abortions”, worries this resident of Washington. “Women are going to die. They are already dying. »

“A first step”

The demonstrators opposed to the right to abortion, much less numerous throughout the day, had placed themselves on the right of the imposing facade to congratulate themselves on the path taken by the judges of the Supreme Court – while remaining cautious for the after.

“Abortion won’t be illegal tomorrow if Roe is overturned. It will be up to the states to legislate, ”recalls Kristen Day, an activist against abortion from neighboring Virginia.

“Human rights for all, for born and unborn humans,” read a placard earlier in the day.

The text published Monday by the Politico newspaper, “it’s just a draft, so there’s still a lot of work to do,” says Archie Smith, a member of a “progressive” group against the right to abortion. “For the ‘pro-life’ movement, this is just the first step in the right direction.”

Mobilization in New York

“Stop the war against women”: several thousand people flocked to New York on Tuesday evening to shout their “anger” against the intentions of the Supreme Court of the United States to break the constitutional right to abortion.

Photo BRYAN R. SMITH, Agence France-Presse

It was the very offensive Attorney General of the State of New York, the elected Democrat Letitia James, who sounded the general mobilization in front of thousands of women and men, rather young, gathered in force on a place of the south of Manhattan, home to the Federal Courthouse.

In front of a human tide, Mme James issued “a call to action”.

Supreme Court’s draft ruling is ‘a wake-up call and now is not the time to remain silent’ […] We must get angry,” harangued the magistrate, calling the defense of the right to abortion “one of the biggest fights to be waged”.

“We won’t go back, we won’t go back to when we used coat hangers. Never again ! “, she promised, judging that” the right to control (his) body was a fundamental right “.

Photo BRYAN R. SMITH, Agence France-Presse

In the crowd, many young women held up placards bearing slogans such as “my body, my choice”, “abortion is a human right”, “stop the war against women” or “I will have less rights than my mother”.

On Tuesday, Democratic President Joe Biden launched a major political battle to defend the right to abortion, a subject around which America has always been torn and which, following an explosive revelation about the Supreme Court’s intentions, stands out as a major issue in the legislative elections scheduled for November.

The day after the extraordinary leak of a draft decision from the high court, in which it dynamites the constitutional right to abortion guaranteed throughout the United States since 1973, the president called in a press release on voters to “choose candidates favorable” to the right to abortion during this mid-term election.

The Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of this internal document, published by the media Politico, while stressing that it did not represent a “final” decision.

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