Texas abortion rights advocates hold 'Bans off our Bodies' rally at State Capitol
AUSTIN, Texas - Abortion advocates from across the Lone Star State are gathering on the steps of the Texas Capitol to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s pending decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
The rally is part of a national day of action taking place across the nation. More than 380 events are set from Maine to Hawaii, with the largest gatherings expected in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and other big cities.
Tens of thousands of people were expected at the "Bans off our Bodies" events, providing an outlet for anger and frustration for abortion rights activists after a leaked draft Supreme Court ruling suggested Roe v. Wade will be overturned, says the AP.
"I am out here for women's right to choose, for herself, her own uterus so it's nobody else's business," said pro-choice supporter Anne Pilcher.
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Saturday's rallies are being held three days after the Senate failed to muster enough votes to codify Roe v. Wade. The vote was 51-49 against proceeding, with 60 votes needed to move ahead. According to the AP, the almost party-line tally promises to be the first of several efforts in Congress to preserve the nearly 50-year-old court ruling.
Sometime in late June or early July the courts may rule to overturn Roe leaving abortion rights in the hands of each state. If the ruling is overturned, around half of the states are poised to ban abortion, including Texas.
"This can't be happening. It can't be real," said Pilcher.
Sponsors include the Women’s March, Move On, Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, MoveOn, SEIU and other organizations. The Texas march is sponsored by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, ACLU of Texas, Progress Texas, Avow, Lilith Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund, Deeds Not Words, and Texas Freedom Network.
"It's important for me to fight for those who are going to be in a position that I was in the past," said pro-choice supporter Sabrina Escanilla.
Some protesters like Escanilla say this is personal. "I've had two abortions in the past. I don't want kids ever, and I knew that, and I know that, so, for me, it's kind of the fear I have to fight for people who have uteruses, girls who can get pregnant and are going to be forced to carry out a pregnancy," she said.
It is a fight Escanilla and other pro-choice protesters hope will keep abortion legal.