By Moira Warburton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hundreds of rights supporters gathered in anger at the US Supreme Court after an early leak showed a majority of justices poised to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Within hours of Politico’s publication on Monday of an initial draft opinion that would overturn the landmark decision, a crowd was calling on Democrats in Congress to take action to protect access to abortion, while decrying a possible ruling that would take away what they see as a fundamental right.
“The first line in the draft is that this is a moral issue,” Annie McDonnell, 19, a student at George Washington University, said, referring to the decision opinion. “If it’s a moral issue, you shouldn’t be depriving us of our choice.”
“Justices get out of my vagina,” one sign held aloft read. “I love someone who had an abortion,” read another.
The crowd was interspersed with a smaller number of anti-abortion title, including some with drums and guitars chanting, “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Roe v. Wade has got to go.”
“Abortion is healthcare,” abortion rights supporters chanted back. Chants of “Do something Democrats,” also broke out.
Based on the opinion written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court would find that the Roe v. Wade decision was wrongly decided because the US Constitution makes no specific mention of abortion rights. Reuters was not able to confirm the authenticity of the draft.
Moira Flath, 22, said she was “horrified” when she got a notification of the news around 9:15 pm
“I think a part of me has to be bely optimism, like seeing people out here who are willing to get up at 10, 11 at night and do this gives me hope for my generation, but it’s going to be a very uphill battle, the University of Delaware student said.
Her roommate Erin Sheehan, 21, said: “I think everyone should be able to fight for this and no one, especially no men, should tell us what we can or cannot do with our bodies.”
(Reporting by Moira Warburton; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Michael Perry)