Abortion rights supporters marched in Philadelphia to protest a leaked draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court may be set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Protesters gathered around 5 p.m. Tuesday near the Philadelphia federal courthouse at 601 Market Street and began marching through downtown. The protest followed a nationwide call by Women’s March organizers asking supporters across the country to rally in their town halls, plazas and federal courthouses to defend abortion rights.
New demonstration in favor of the right to abortion began at 6 p.m. along the north side of City Hall at 1400 JFK Blvd.
University of Pennsylvania students also marched in support of abortion rights around 7 p.m. Tuesday. The walk started at the compass on Penn’s Locust Walk.
“There are cases of sexual assault and in those situations, you know we force women into childbirth and that’s incredibly dangerous,” Raegan Davis, one of the Center City protesters, told NBC10.
Another protester, Majorie Bicknell, told NBC10 that she was not “a fan of abortion”, but was a fan of women’s right to choose.
“My choice may be one thing, another woman’s choice is another, but it’s her choice,” Bicknell said. “And I fought for that in the 1970s and that’s why I’m here today. To take that away from women is to say women are less than human.”
Late Monday night, Politico obtained a leaked majority draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the project on Tuesday, while noting that he ordered an investigation into the leak.
A decision to overrule Roe would likely lead to abortion bans in about half the states and could have huge ramifications for this year’s election. But it’s unclear whether the draft represents the court’s final say on the matter – opinions often change in big and small ways in the drafting process.
In a statement on Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said any Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade “will have no immediate impact on Pennsylvania or its current laws.”
“If this advisory becomes final, abortion access in Pennsylvania will remain legal and safe as long as I serve as governor,” Wolf wrote. “I will continue to veto any legislation that threatens access to abortion and health care for women.”
Learn more about current abortion laws in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware here.