US abortion rights activists protest against ‘war on women’

Hunain Khalid

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)

Abortion-rights campaigners, including Democrats seeking their party's 2020 presidential nomination, have rallied at the US Supreme Court in Washington to protest against new restrictions on abortion passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states.

joined the thousands of Americans who have held demonstrations across the country to protest against the new laws, which amount to the tightest restrictions on abortion in the United States in decades.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker urged the crowd in Washington to "wake up more men to join this fight".

The rally is one of scores that were scheduled on Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights groups.


Conservatives hope to overturn Roe vs Wade ruling
Conservative Republicans in more than a dozen states have recently passed, or are soon aiming to pass, more restrictive abortion laws.

Many of these laws are intended to draw legal challenges which religious conservatives hope will lead the nation's top court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling that established a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy.


Alabama passed an outright ban last week, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, unless the woman's life was in danger.

Other states, including Ohio and Georgia, have banned abortions absent a medical emergency after six weeks of pregnancy or after the foetus's heartbeat can be detected, which can occur before a woman even realises she is pregnant.

Protesters outside the Supreme Court waved signs saying "We won't be punished" and "Protect Safe, Legal Abortion" and were joined by the Mayor of South Bend in Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, who is also vying for the 2020 nomination.


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, another Democratic 2020 candidate, blamed what she called "outrageous bans" on US President Donald Trump.

"This is the beginning of President Trump's war on women," she told the rally. "If he wants his war, he will have his war, and he will lose."
Mr Trump, a Republican who opposes abortion, has seized on the issue as one likely to fire up his core supporters, although he considers the Alabama ban too restrictive because it does not make exceptions for incest and rape.

In the District of Columbia, progressive politicians and protesters declared they would fight tooth and nail to protect the Roe vs Wade decision.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, abortion opponents and abortion-rights advocates held duelling protests, which at some points devolved into a shouting match.


The restrictive new laws are contrary to the Roe vs Wade ruling made more than four decades ago, which afforded a woman the right to an abortion up to the moment the foetus would be viable outside the womb, which is usually placed at about seven months, or 28 weeks, but may occur earlier.

The bans have been championed by conservatives, many of them Christian, who said foetuses should have rights comparable to those of infants and view abortion as tantamount to murder.

The Supreme Court now has a 5-4 conservative majority following two judicial appointments by Mr Trump.

States fight rule saying doctors can refuse abortions
Meanwhile, nearly two dozen states and municipalities have sued the US Federal Government to stop a ruling that lets health care clinicians decline to provide abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.

The lawsuit in the Manhattan Federal Court asked the judge to declare the rule unconstitutional and said it was passed in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

The rule was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and is scheduled to take effect in July.

A spokesman for Federal Government lawyers declined to comment on the legal proceeding