Washington, Jan 21 (EFE).- Many among the thousands of anti-abortion activists who converged here Friday for the 49th annual “March for Life” expressed optimism that the Supreme Court will overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision making abortion legal across the United States.
Comments made by the court’s six conservative justices during a hearing last month on a Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy indicated a readiness to allow that law to stand and even to throw out Roe entirely.
“I’m super excited,” Patricia Salva told Efe.
“With so many depressing things in the world,” she said, the prospect that abortion will be outlawed – with no exceptions – is a “little glimmer of hope.”
The 53-year-old Catholic drove to Washington from Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, with two of her eight children after many years of making the trip on a bus chartered by her church.
“Now it’s kind of my therapy, to come here and get invigorated,” Salva said.
If the Supreme Court ruling, expected as soon as June, upholds the Mississippi law, 26 other Republican-controlled states poised to pass measures further restricting abortion.
In Roe v. Wade, the nation’s highest court said that women have the right to terminate at any point before the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, around 22 weeks into the pregnancy.
Some of the justices suggested that the court could allow the Mississippi law to stand without overturning the 1973 decision, though it is difficult to see how Texas’ ban on abortions after 12 weeks could be compatible with the continued existence of Roe.
The scrapping of Roe v. Wade would be “really good,” 22-year-old teacher Annie Marcellin told Efe after standing in line to make her confession to a priest next to a tree on the National Mall, the esplanade that extends from the US Capitol to the Washington Monument.
Marcellin, who has been coming to the march since she was a child, said that the goal of the movement is not just “making sure that abortion’s illegal, but that it’s unthinkable.”
“I know that there are situations where people are going to try to find ways to perform illegal abortions,” she said. The fight’s not over if this works. We’re still working to change culture and people’s hearts and people’s minds. So it’s really, really exciting, but there’s more work to be done.” EFE llb/dr