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Thousands are expected to march through downtown D.C. in support of abortion rights Saturday afternoon, nearly two weeks after a leaked draft opinion revealed the Supreme Court to be on the brink of upending a decades-old legal precedent for abortion access.

The Women’s March and Planned Parenthood, together with several other women’s rights and progressive advocacy groups, including UltraViolet and MoveOn, will lead marchers from the Washington Monument to the Supreme Court.

Saturday’s march will mark the latest in a wave of street protests sparked almost immediately after Politico published a draft opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade and limit abortion access in more than half the states.

It might also prove the largest yet: According to a permit from the National Park Service, organizers expect around 17,000 attendees for the flagship event of what the Women’s March calls a nationwide “bans off our bodies” day of action, with concurrent sister rallies planned across the country.

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Spontaneous protests spanning from hundreds to several thousand erupted the night of the leak and continued last weekend. This week saw smaller protests outside the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices in the suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia.

“Losing the right to abortion has consequences. Women will pay the price.” Women’s March executive director Rachel O’Leary Carmona said in a news release previewing Saturday’s event. “We can stop this tragedy, and the time is now. We will get up and fight, like women have throughout history — for the most basic right. The right to be treated as human. And we won’t let anyone stop us. All of our rights and all of our futures are at stake.”

Marchers will gather beneath the Washington Monument at noon in the District and hear from speakers including Rep. Barbara Lee of California, SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry and Laphonza Butler of EMILY’s List. Also slated to speak are Ward 4 Council member Janeese Lewis George and NeeNee Taylor, a local Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder of Harriet’s Wildest Dreams.

Demonstrators will set out around 2 p.m. for the Supreme Court, headed east on Constitution Avenue from the National Mall. D.C. police warned of road closures and parking restrictions in the vicinity of the National Mall and Capitol Hill, advising drivers to avoid downtown and consider Metrorail as an alternative.

WTOP will have coverage of the event online and on the air throughout the day. Listen to updates online or on the air at 103.5 FM.

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Tags: abortion alejandro alvarez supreme court women s rights the women’s march the women’s march women’s march the women’s the women’s the washington monument in support of abortion the supreme court from the national expected to march the national mall abortion access abortion rights draft opinion the right the right for abortion

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Cardinal Sean OMalley weighs in on Supreme Court draft that could overturn very flawed Roe v. Wade

BOSTON (CBS) — Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Friday weighed in on the raging abortion rights debate in the country for the first time since the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade.

The leader of the Boston Archdiocese said the church has worked, prayed and advocated for 50 years for the overturning of the “very flawed decision.”

“The case we have made to our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights question,” O’Malley said. “We have tried to make that case and will continue to do so whatever the final decision of the Court will be.”

He went on to say “A pro-life position does not end at birth; it must extend to a public vision which encompasses the common good of our society,” and called for both sides to “respect the dignity of others.”

Read O’Malley’s full statement below, via his blog:

“The leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion on abortion has brought many voices into a conflicted question now almost fifty years old. Throughout those years, from the Roe v. Wade decision until today, the Catholic Church has been part of the abortion debate in this country. Two characteristics have marked our position. First, while Catholic moral teaching has opposed abortion since the apostolic era, the case we have made to our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights question. Such questions are argued in rational terms: the right in danger is the right to life. Its defense in the public arena can and should be articulated in ways which those of any faith or no faith can analyze and understand. We have tried to make that case and will continue to do so whatever the final decision of the Court will be. Second, the human rights argument means that human life must be protected before birth and after birth. A pro-life position does not end at birth; it must extend to a public vision which encompasses the common good of our society. The child whose life is protected by the moral and civil law deserves the support of a society which will provide the socio-economic conditions in which life can flourish.

A draft opinion will not settle our long national debate. As it goes forward, before and after the final decision is made, my hope is that all participants will respect the dignity of others; on a question as deep as the one we seek to decide this attitude is essential.”


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