Thousands of rally-goers in hundreds of cities across the country are gathering Saturday for the 5th Women’s March, centered around abortion justice.
The march in the national’s capitol is hosting roughly 5,000 people on the National Mall, the group says. Marches are also taking place in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Several Texas cities are also holding rallies as the state has come under renewed focus in the battle for reproductive justice; legislation passed last month now bans abortions after about six weeks. Most women do not know they are pregnant at that time.
The marches also come ahead of Monday’s reconvening of the Supreme Court for its next session. Among the cases before the high court is one that could challenge the current standing of the landmark Roe vs. Wade.
“Abortion is health care, basic health care, essential health care, health care that cannot wait,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, told the crowd in Washington, D.C.
While the focus lately has been on Texas’ recent abortion ban, Johnson reminded the crowd that restrictions on abortion rights are going on all over the country.
“This year alone we have seen nearly 600 restrictions in 47 states,” she said. “So no matter where you live, no matter where you are, this fight is at your doorstep.”
At the march in Austin, Texas, some rally-goers told KUT reporter Ashley Lopez they would consider moving out of the state, given the restrictive abortion ban.
“If this law doesn’t go away, I don’t want to get rid of my rights,” Ashlie Harrison said. “So, I do think about maybe moving out if it doesn’t get changed.”
The first such march was held in 2017 on the day after President’s Donald Trump’s inauguration.