Crime & Justice

Threats to legal abortion in US bring thousands of women onto the streets

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Washington, Oct 2 (EFE).- Women’s rights organizations planned to hold 660 marches across the United States on Saturday in opposition to moves by Texas and other Republican-led states that could effectively put abortion out of reach for millions.

What was expected to be the largest event took place in Washington, where thousands of women filled Freedom Square for a rally before making their way walking to the Supreme Court.

Abortion has been legal throughout the US since 1973, the year the Supreme Court established a woman’s right to choose with their ruling in Roe vs. Wade.

But in the term that begins Monday, the court is set to consider arguments about Mississippi’s draconian anti-abortion measure and pro-choice partisans fear that the current conservative majority on the court will take the opportunity to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

On Sept. 1, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to deny a request to block enforcement of the new Texas law barring abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, before many women even realize that they are pregnant.

The mobilization in Washington attracted women from throughout the US, including Zaida Carballo, a 21-year-old Latina from McAllen, Texas, the daughter of conservative Catholic parents with no tolerance for ideas about reproductive freedom.

The legacy of that upbringing made her hesitate to take part in the march.

“But, to be here now is something startling,” Zaida tells Efe. “To have all these people here fighting so bravely for a right, gives me chills all over my body.”

Sam Blakely, an African American woman from Alabama who had an abortion in 2017 to end a pregnancy that was the result of rape, says that the law her state enacted two years ago essentially ended access to abortion.

“It’s very frustrating,” she tells Efe, adding that the anti-abortion measures have a disproportionate impact on women of color, who tend to have lower incomes and to suffer from the effects of systemic oppression.

Data from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute indicate that the majority of US women who seek to terminate pregnancies are poor and belong to minorities.

Opinion polling shows that around two-thirds of Americans oppose overturning Roe vs. Wade. EFE bpm/dr

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