Written by Amy Beecham
Abortion rights protests have been held in cities across the US, with solidarity protests taking place across the world.
Pro-choice protests have erupted across the US – and the world – following the Supreme Court’s vote to overturn Roe v Wade, removing the constitutional right to abortion.
The decision means that while abortion won’t be completely banned in the US, states will be allowed to take control of their own abortion laws, enabling them heavily restrict or ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
Already, abortion clinics have begun to close across the US, in states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky.
Overall, the Supreme Court ruling is expected to mean about 36 million women of reproductive age will lose access to abortion in their states, according to research from Planned Parenthood.
In Washington DC, riot police were deployed as protestors descended on the Supreme Court in their thousands, shouting: “This decision must not stand! Legal abortion on demand!” and “We won’t go back!”
Protesters also rallied in cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Nashville, Kansas City, Tallahassee, Miami, Oklahoma, Boise, New Orleans and Detroit.
In London, a solidarity protest organised by Abortion Rights UK was attended by hundreds who marched on the US Embassy in Nine Elms.
Siân Bradley, 26, attended the London protest.
“The mood was that of simmering anger – it didn’t feel electrically charged as I’ve felt with protests before, but that’s because people were really attentive to the speakers standing on stage,” she tells Stylist.
“The Met police were standing around a hundred feet away with guns, which was jarring.”
“The rally felt serious and heavy, but there was also a lightness, a sense of solidarity and a commitment to fight and resist that meant I left feeling much less despondent than I did before I arrived. One speaker got up and got everyone to roar to let out some anger and started the chants of: “Our bodies, our lives, our rights to decide”. It was great to see some men there, too.”
“People spoke of not wanting to be complacent, saying: ‘We have to organise’. Another said: ‘Nobody here wants to be a vessel for procreation, for someone else’s religious beliefs’”.
“We heard from Samaria, a student from Liverpool, talking about their fight against anti- abortion campaigners who were coming onto campus harassing people. Another speakerurged us to keep supporting at home abortions and reminded us we still have to fight for the decriminalisation of abortions in the UK. It was a really sobering and important reminder that, while we devote energy to supporting American people right now, this sets a precedent for right wingers in the UK and that the fight for abortion justice is a global issue.”
“The fight for abortion justice is a global issue”
Over the weekend, further protests are expected across the UK, in cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.
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