Abortion rights supporters and opponents will hold dueling rallies around the U.S. on Saturday, the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that had legalized the procedure nationwide.
In Washington, speakers from national abortion rights groups, including Women’s March and NARAL Pro-Choice America, will assemble in Columbus Circle to celebrate the defeat of some abortion opponents in the 2022 midterm races and rally voters ahead of next year’s congressional and presidential elections.
Across town at the Lincoln Memorial, anti-abortion groups, including Students for Life America, are hosting a “National Celebrate Life Day Rally.” Former Vice President Mike Pence, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, will be among the speakers.
“We’re never going to rest, we’re never going to relent, until we restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state in the country,” Pence said on Saturday at a pre-rally “tele-townhall” for Iowa, the state that will be first to nominate a Republican candidate for president next year.
The June 24, 2022, Supreme Court ruling allowed U.S. states to ban abortion care for the first time in nearly 50 years. Conservative states have passed a flood of legislation to restrict the procedure, while other states have moved to protect abortion access.
Near-total abortion bans have taken effect in 14 states in the past year, even as opinion polls show that a majority of Americans want abortion legal in all or most cases.
On Saturday, Harris will give a speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, in favor of national legislation to protect abortion rights, one week before a new Republican-backed law takes effect in the state and cuts the legal window for abortions from 20 to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Democratic U.S. lawmakers proposed a measure on Thursday that would protect abortion patients and providers from criminalization nationwide, but its passage is unlikely given the deeply divided Congress.