Protesters blast the Supreme Court — and Democrats — during a rally downtown on Friday

More than a thousand protesters gathered in Copley Square on Friday night, targeting the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision that would overturn Roe vs. Wade and also to Democrats in Washington, DC, for failing to pass legislation protecting the right to abortion.

Organizers from the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Boston Liberation Center rallied for abortion access with growing crowds throughout the evening. In speeches from the steps of the main branch of the Boston Public Library, they warned of other Supreme Court rulings that may be overturned with the impending decision – such as Obergfell v. Hodgeswho protects same-sex marriage — and has warned against conservative efforts to roll back protections for trans and non-binary people in the United States.

“We are here to keep fighting and pressuring senior government officials to make sure our voices are heard,” said Meilyn Huq, an organizer with the Socialism and Liberation Party. “We are not going to sit idly by while millions of women, especially poor women, are affected by this decision.”

The first gathering of groups Tuesday evening took place less than 24 hours after the February draft notice was leaked. Five Supreme Court justices voted to uphold Mississippi’s abortion ban after 15 weeks pregnant and overturn the law Roe vs. Wade previous, as POLITICO first reported Monday nighteven if the decision is not yet final.

Cat Yoder, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, told the crowd that party members are involved in the labor movement, the anti-war movement, the movement against police brutality and struggles for immigrant rights. , LGBT rights and women’s rights. .

“We know that while these struggles may seem separate, they all come from the same source,” Yoder said. “These are all symptoms of the same disease. And it is this capitalist system that is sick and rotten to the core,” she said to applause and cheers.

She and other speakers lobbied for the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal legislation sponsored by Rep. Ayanna Pressley that would guarantee abortion access in all 50 states.

Yoder asked members of the crowd to raise their hands if they had voted Democrats in the past. Many hands went up.

“Now I know I voted for Democrats,” she said. “I voted for Joe Biden because I was scared and I was told that if I didn’t things would get worse. But now look at us.

Yoder asked protesters to lower their hands if they would continue to vote Democrats if they did not pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. Most hands fell.

If the draft opinion stands and Roe vs. Wade is reversed, 26 states are probable or some ban abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights policy group.

In Massachusetts, the 2020 ROE Act affirms access to abortion. But as Kate Dineen told the crowd after the march, there are also opportunities to expand access to abortion in Massachusetts.

“I keep hearing people say things like, ‘Thank God I’m in Massachusetts,’ ‘it’s a bastion of reproductive justice,’ ‘it’s going to be a paradise state,'” Dineen told “And all of that is kind of true. But despite the relative strength of the ROE law here in Massachusetts, hospitals right here in Boston are sending patients out of state for abortions.”

Dineen said she was well into her pregnancy – past the 24-week viability mark – when she said she learned her fetus had had a stroke in utero. Her son, she said, had to die or have “a fate far worse than death,” but Dineen said her doctor told her she would have to leave the state to have an abortion.

She and her husband traveled to Washington, DC, and paid $10,000 out of pocket to have an abortion, she recalled, ending what was a “deeply desired pregnancy.”

“Our hospitals need to step up and do more under current state laws,” Dineen said. “At this defining moment in our nation’s history, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should prepare to accept new patients from other states. And we should not outsource patients like me to overstretched and underfunded clinics in other states. other states.

As the group marched through the streets of Back Bay, many diners cheered in restaurants and drivers honked their horns to the rhythm of protesters’ chants. The group grew as it moved, with walkers calling for pedestrians to join them.

“Honestly, I’m angry,” Hernan Fernandez said as he walked with the crowd down Newbury Street. “I think that’s the only thing that can change anything, because we can’t vote louder. We already elected the Democrats to power, they don’t care about us. We have to hold them accountable for that.

Ankita and Smita Deshpande, daughter and mother, walked together in Newbury Street.

“As a mother, I think it’s my duty to support the next generation,” said Smita Deshpande. “I mean, I had a really good life – all freedom, all choice – and if I didn’t do it for the next generation, I would have failed miserably.”

About Therese Williams

Check Also

Big-name Democrats stop in Erie for the party’s annual spring dinner

(WJET) – Pennsylvania’s primary election is less than a week away. On Wednesday, some high-profile …