Pro-choice demonstrators gather across the US over expected reversal of Roe v Wade – live

Victoria Bekiempis

Victoria Bekiempis

‘I’m here for my friend, and all women’

Women gathering in New York city, where multiple protests are planned, are talking about what is motivating them to be part of Saturday’s actions.

Beth and Victoria explain why they are at today’s reproductive rights demonstration in Cadman Plaza, which starts at 12. Hundreds of protests are expected across the US today following a draft US supreme court decision leaked indicating a possible reversal of Roe v Wade

— Victoria Bekiempis (@vicbekiempis) May 14, 2022

Victoria Bekiempis

Victoria Bekiempis

‘What direction is the US moving towards with that decision?’

Julie Kinsella traveled to Brooklyn from Saratoga Springs, New York to participate in Saturday’s demonstration, explaining that she felt “outrage” and “anger” when news broke about the draft opinion.

“This is to stop things from happening,” explained Kinsella, 35, of why she decided to protest. “We have made so much progress up until this point. I would just hate to see us backtrack and fight for what we already have right now.”

Kinsella, an educator, described her reaction to the draftthe leaked opinion suggests that the US supreme court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. “How can they take away what I feel is a human right from us?” Kinsella said. “It just made me think: What direction is the US moving toward with that decision?”

Kinsella said this is her first time protesting.”In the last five, 10 years, I’ve seen many things that anger me,” she said. “I can’t keep sitting back.”

Conservative justice Clarence Thomas has called the leak of the supreme court abortion draft “tremendously bad.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Photograph: Robert Franklin/AP

“What happened at the court was tremendously bad,” Thomas, 73, said in a dialog at a conference of conservative and libertarian thinkers in Dallas.

“I wonder how long we’re going to have these institutions at the rate we’re undermining them…And then I wonder when they’re gone or destabilized, what we’re going to have as a country,” he said.

The comments came one week after the justice said he feared that the judicial system will come under threat if people are unwilling to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with” and that recent events at the apex court might be “one symptom of that”.

Victoria Bekiempis

Victoria Bekiempis

Protesters gather in New York: ‘This has been coming’

By 10am local time, reproductive rights advocates started arriving at Cadman Plaza, in Brooklyn, New York City, to prepare for a demonstration scheduled for noon.

Organizer Jillian White is among them. “I’m deeply concerned about the erosion of our rights,” White, 35, told The Guardian. “I feel like it’s important to show up and do everything that I can.”

Good morning from Cadman Plaza, in BK NYC. Organizers are here in advance of the reproductive rights demonstration today, following the leaked draft on Roe. Will be following NYC demonstrations for @GuardianUS. Organizer Jillian White explains why she is here:

— Victoria Bekiempis (@vicbekiempis) May 14, 2022

Demonstrators are gathering at the park as the US supreme court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the watershed 1973 decision which made abortion legal. On 2 May, a draft decision leaked to Politico showed that five conservative justices on the nine-judge panel had voted to overturn the decision.

“I think I was surprised about the leak, not about its contents,” White said. “This has been coming for a very long time. My heart hurt, but I wasn’t surprised.”

Good morning and welcome to the Guardian’s coverage of Saturday’s abortion rallies that are set to take place across the nation.

We will be covering it all live and have reporters at some of the main protest sites, including Washington DC, New York City and Los Angeles.

With the US supreme court apparently poised to overturn the 1973 landmark decision which made abortion legal, hundreds of thousands of people across America are planning to take to the streets to protest the looming decision.

A coalition of groups such as Planned Parenthood, UltraViolet, MoveOn and the Women’s March are organizing Saturday’s demonstrations, whose rallying cry is “Bans Off Our Bodies”.

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, organizers said.

In the nation’s capital, activists planned to gather at the Washington Monument before marching to the Supreme Court, which is now surrounded by a security fence.

The demonstrations come after the leak on 2 May of a draft opinion showing five conservatives on the nine-justice supreme court had voted to reverse their predecessors’ ruling in Roe v Wade nearly 50 years ago.

Unless the provisional ruling is changed substantially before becoming final, abortion would be outlawed essentially immediately in more than half of US states.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that for the women of this country, this will be a summer of rage,” said Rachel Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March.

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Angela Moss