Demonstrators rallied in support of abortion rights in downtown Los Angeles Thursday afternoon.
The rally was held days after a leaked draft opinion suggested the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade protecting a woman’s constitutionally protected right to abortion.
Protesters clashed with police during a demonstration in downtown on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., an 8-foot-tall fence has been erected around the Supreme Court, and on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats are planning on a vote next week that, if passed, would codify abortion rights into law.
“Which side are you on? You can’t duck it anymore … Republicans will have two choices. They can own the destruction of women’s rights, or they can reverse course and work to prevent the damage,” Schumer said.
The bill is expected to fail, as Democrats do not have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster, but they want lawmakers to go on record about where they stand.
In contrast, Republicans seem to be more focused on the leak itself and the impact it might have on the nation’s highest court.
“Threats against the justices aren’t going away and are becoming even more intense,” said Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican.
Advocates on both sides of the pro-choice and pro-life movements are also making their cases to drum up public support.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List, said the repeal of Roe v. Wade could help Republicans in the midterms, as up to 30 states could pass “ambitious pro-life laws.”
“Each of those laws will save a certain number of children, each one. And every time there’s a law passed, there will be moms in need. And we’re going to address those needs, too,” she said.
Political science professor Lindsey Cormack of the Stevens Institute of Technology noted that, despite Republicans’ hopes, the repeal could politically backfire.
“Most Americans, about 70%, in red states and blue states and all sorts of households agree that there should be some access to abortion,” she said. “In the cases of rape, incest, health issues for mom, people believe there should be carve out. However, a lot of states that are considering or making it so that there are blanket restrictions and are not allowing for these permitted carveouts. That means Republicans might be put on the defensive when their constituents legitimately do not support abortion but understand that there is a reason in which women may need some ways in which they can seek this.”