Abortion Rights Activists Lead More Than 650 Marches Around U.S. in Protest of Restrictive Bans

"Over 120,000 people are set to join us at over 650 rallies nationwide," Women's March executive director Rachel O'Leary Carmona wrote ahead of Saturday's protests

Protesters attend the Rally For Abortion Justice on October 02, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider another restrictive ban, abortion rights activists are marching in protest across the country.

More than 650 marches have been planned for Saturday, with the Women's March kicking off their Rally for Abortion Justice at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., and marching to the steps of the Supreme Court.

"Over 120,000 people are set to join us at over 650 rallies nationwide tomorrow, fighting for abortion justice," Women's March executive director Rachel O'Leary Carmona wrote on Twitter Friday. "This is how we send a message. Lawmakers, don't you dare take away our reproductive freedom."

The protests come as the Supreme Court prepares to reconvene on Monday to consider Mississippi lawmakers' plea to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, according to Reuters.

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Last month, Texas enacted Senate Bill 8, the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Essentially eliminating the rights of Roe v. Wade, the bill prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most people know they're pregnant. The bill does not allow exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of incest or rape.

Under the law, private citizens can sue abortion clinics they suspect of performing illegal abortions after six weeks, as well as anyone who aided in an abortion, including driving someone to an appointment or helping them with the cost. If the lawsuit is successful, they will be awarded a minimum of $10,000.

Abortion providers in Texas attempted to stop the bill, asking the Supreme Court to issue an emergency block before it went into effect. They argued that the law "would immediately and catastrophically reduce abortion access in Texas, barring care for at least 85 percent of Texas abortion patients (those who are six weeks pregnant or greater) and likely forcing many abortion clinics ultimately to close."

The court voted 5 to 4 against the request, allowing the law to remain in effect. The five justices who voted in the majority — Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — explained their decision in a single unsigned paragraph, arguing that the request did not properly address "complex and novel antecedent procedural questions" in regards to the bill.

Protesters hold up signs as they march down Congress Ave at a protest outside the Texas state capitol on May 29, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Thousands of protesters came out in response to a new bill outlawing abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected signed on Wednesday by Texas Governor Greg Abbot.
Sergio Flores/Getty

"In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas's law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts," the justices wrote.

Last week, the House voted in favor of H.R. 3755, the Women's Health Protection Act, which effectively codifies Roe v. Wade, granting access to abortion to "every person capable of becoming pregnant." The Senate still has to vote on the legislation.

RELATED VIDEO: Woman Whose Conception Sparked Roe v. Wade Case Breaks Silence: 'I'm Keeping a Secret but I Hate It'

"This Act is intended to protect all people with the capacity for pregnancy — cisgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others — who are unjustly harmed by restrictions on abortion services," the legislation states.

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