“My hopes have been dashed many times, but I have never felt like this,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.
March for Life, an annual anti-abortion protest for decades, came this year when the Supreme Court indicated it would allow states to impose tight restrictions more on abortion by judgment in the coming months – and possibly overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade’s ruling affirmed the constitutional right to abortion.
The protest, held on the anniversary of Roe’s decision, is taking place amid a COVID-19 spike expected to restrict voter turnout at the National Mall. Several people opposed to abortion posted on the event’s Facebook page that they would not attend because of COVID vaccine regulations for people eating out at restaurants and elsewhere in the District of Columbia.
The pandemic has not dampened the optimism of a rising anti-abortion movement, which sees the new Texas law banning most abortions as a sign of things to come, and those who say they do not fight for restrictions even if the Supreme Court’s conservative majority rules in their favor later this year.
According to abortion rights groups, at least 26 states will further restrict access to abortion if Roe is weakened or reversed. In December, the court indicated in a major case that it would uphold Mississippi’s 15-week pregnancy ban and allow states to ban abortions earlier. The Mississippi case directly challenged Roe.
Tanya Britton, former president of Pro-Life Mississippi, said she will attend a candlelight vigil this weekend in the northern Mississippi city of Tupelo, where she lives. She said if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, she wants the US Constitution and state constitutions to be amended to prohibit abortion. Such a grand undertaking would take years and would likely face stiff opposition in many places.
Britton said those who oppose abortion have provided emotional and material support to pregnant women, and that society needs to help men feel connected to their children.
“Many men have decided, ‘It’s your body, it’s your choice’ and I’m out of here,” Britton said. “We have to help them understand their roles and responsibilities when it comes to the newborn and then the baby while it’s here.”
For months, courts have dealt with abortion providers in Texas a series of failures as a result of efforts to block a law that since September has banned abortions when heart activity is detected, usually around six weeks and before some women know they are pregnant. Another blow to Texas clinics came on Thursday, when the Supreme Court refused to speed up an ongoing challenge to the law, which providers say is now likely to go into effect. in the near future.
“This law is cruel and unconstitutional,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president of Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four abortion clinics in Texas.
The Supreme Court was remade by the three candidates of former President Donald Trump, who in 2020 became the first sitting president to speak in March for Life.
Democrats and abortion providers say that if Roe is ousted, they hope opponents will step up restrictions on access to abortion pills by mail.
“As for what the Republicans are planning, I’m not going to put anything off the table. There’s almost a kind of excitement, a sort of giddy within them,” said Arizona Democratic Senator Rebecca Rios. .
Mississippi Senator Joey Fillingane, a Republican who supports the state’s strict abortion laws, said he couldn’t attend March For Life in Washington but is glad he and two GOP colleagues will be recognized there. there. Mississippi has only one abortion clinic, and Fillingane says the next state should target abortion pill access.
If Roe is invalidated, Fillingane said he expects states to adopt different approaches to establishing their own abortion laws.
“I think that’s the way it should be,” he said. “The law in California, based on their population and what they want, can be very different from the law in Mississippi based on how people feel about life matters.”
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https://abc13.com/aboriton-laws-march-for-life-2022-anti-abortion-protest/11495912/ March for Life 2022 rally: Anti-abortion advocates hope Washington DC event to be the last under Roe v. Wade