March for Life returns to DC with new post-Roe v. Wade focus
WASHINGTON (AP) — One 12 months in the past, the annual March for Life protest towards authorized abortion came about in Washington amid a mood of undisguised triumph. With a contemporary conservative majority on the Supreme Court docket, hundreds of marchers braved bitterly chilly climate to rejoice the seemingly inevitable fall of Roe v. Wade.
Now, with the constitutional right to abortion no longer the rule of the landthe March for Life returns Friday with a brand new focus. As an alternative of concentrating their consideration on the Supreme Court docket, the marchers plan to focus on the constructing straight throughout the road: the U.S. Capitol.
Motion leaders say they plan to warn Congress towards making any try to curtail the a number of anti-abortion legal guidelines imposed final 12 months in a dozen completely different states.
“This 12 months might be a somber reminder of the hundreds of thousands of lives misplaced to abortion up to now 50 years, but additionally a celebration of how far we now have come and the place we as a motion have to focus our effort as we enter this new period in our quest to guard life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Training and Protection Fund, mentioned in a press release.
Some motion leaders additionally hope to plant seeds in Congress for a possible federal abortion restriction down the road. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Professional-Life America, mentioned she envisions an eventual “federal minimal customary” cut-off line akin to 13 weeks of being pregnant after which abortion wouldn’t be permitted in any state. Dannenfelser’s situation would nonetheless depart particular person states free to impose their very own, stricter measures, together with a complete ban.
That final ambition is an admitted longshot since even when it passes the newly Republican-controlled Home of Representatives, it might almost certainly fail within the Democratic-held Senate.
“We all know it’s not going to occur this session, however that is the start,” Dannenfelser mentioned. “It is (Congress’) accountability to take heed to the desire of the individuals.”
In allow purposes to the Nationwide Park Service, protest organizers estimated 50,000 contributors this 12 months, about the identical dimension as earlier marches.
Within the absence of Roe v. Wade’s federal protections, abortion rights have turn into a state-by-state patchwork.
Since June, near-total bans on abortion have been applied in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Authorized challenges are pending towards a number of of these bans.
Elective abortions are also unavailable in Wisconsin, as a result of authorized uncertainties confronted by abortion clinics, and in North Dakota, the place the lone clinic relocated to Minnesota.
Bans handed by lawmakers in Ohio, Indiana and Wyoming have been blocked by state courts whereas authorized challenges are pending. And in South Carolina, the state Supreme Court docket on Jan. 5 struck down a ban on abortion after six weeks, ruling the restriction violates a state constitutional proper to privateness.
However different states have witnessed surprising pushback on the difficulty. Voters in Kansas and Kentucky rejected constitutional amendments that will have declared there isn’t a proper to abortion; Michigan voters authorized an modification enshrining the suitable to abortion within the state structure.
President Joe Biden’s administration has restricted choices within the wake of the Supreme Court docket resolution. Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to give a speech in Florida on Sunday, the fiftieth anniversary of the unique Roe v. Wade ruling, to emphasise that abortion rights stay a core focus for the administration.
“The vice chairman will make very clear: The combat to safe ladies’s elementary proper to reproductive well being care is much from over,” mentioned a press release from Kirsten Allen, a Harris spokesperson. “She is going to lay out the implications of extremist assaults on reproductive freedom in states throughout our nation and underscore the necessity for Congress to codify Roe.”
In response to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll performed in July, 53% of U.S. adults mentioned they disapproved of the Supreme Court docket’s repeal of Roe, whereas 30% authorized.
Dannenfelser disputes these numbers and says that whereas blanket abortion bans are a divisive concern amongst voters, restricted restrictions akin to a ban after the primary trimester of being pregnant are “wildly in style” in each purple and blue states.
Anti-abortion activists even have their eye on the upcoming 2024 presidential elections and are primarily vetting potential candidates over their views on the difficulty. Dannenfelser mentioned she met lately with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible main Republican candidate, and got here away “extremely impressed,” however mentioned it was nonetheless too early for her group to endorse anybody.
She predicted that there might be some “fault strains” amongst Republican presidential contenders over abortion rights and protections, however warned that any candidate perceived as being gentle on the difficulty may have “disqualified him or herself as a presidential candidate in our eyes, and having finished so has little or no probability of successful the nomination.”
David Crary contributed from New York Metropolis.
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