Thousands of excited abortion rights protesters, some with coat hangers over their heads, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a massive Saturday rebuke of the Supreme Court’s reported plans to overthrow Roe v. Wade
Crowds of all genders, ages and ethnicities gathered at the Brooklyn courthouse before crossing the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan, waving placards and singing along the way in support of a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.
“Hands off our bodies!” the crowd shouted in response to the leaked draft advisory that indicated the country’s highest court would overturn the landmark decision. “We can’t go back!”
Among the protesters was Gilda Perkin, an 88-year-old Manhattan performer who is familiar with the history of this battle.
“I’ve been on this for a long time, there’s no going back,” she said. “I am passionate about this issue and I will not stop. Women must be strong and speak. We can’t expect anyone else to fight for us, so we have to do it ourselves.”
Fellow marcher Victoria Micalizzi, 22, offered the same fervent support to the cause on a warm spring afternoon.
“This is not about abortion,” said the woman from Bushwick, Brooklyn. “It’s about control and it’s disgusting that history is repeating itself again. We must fight for abortion rights.”
Some of the protesters carried pro-rights signs while music was being played. Drummers stomped outside the courthouses in downtown Manhattan as protesters chanted, “We can’t go back.”
Barbara Yoshida, 77, of lower Manhattan, recalled her first arrest at a rally in the early 1990s where protesters closed the Holland Tunnel on July 4.
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“This is not my first time in this fight,” she said. “I came here again because I still can’t believe I have to fight again… This battle can’t be lost, so we have to know our history, we have to fight and we can’t shut up. We have to stand up and fight .”
The New York rally was one of hundreds of “Bans Off Our Bodies” marches and rallies across the country where protesters expressed outrage over reports that the court’s conservative majority was about to overturn its long-standing decision. to roll back from 1973.
Thousands more gathered outside the Washington Monument before marching to the Supreme Court, where they were greeted by two layers of security fences.
“I can’t believe I still have to protest about this at my age,” said Samantha Rivers, a 64-year-old federal government employee at the DC demonstration.
Sabrina Gates, a 45-year-old resident of Brooklyn Heights, said it was no use for the federal government to impose its will on American women.
“Legislators need to listen to their voters because 70% of Americans believe in healthcare accessibility,” she said. “So we as people have to vote and put people in their place who really have our best interests in mind.
“I’m very proud of New York and the city is so progressive, even though we still have a lot of work to do,” Gates added. “We’re going to fight and we’re going to make our voices heard.”