WASHINGTON – Thousands of abortion rights supporters turned out in Washington DC and across the US on Saturday to protest the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year.
“I’m here today because I had an abortion and I was able to do it safely and I really believe that all women should have access, just like I was able to have access safely and securely,” said Gabrielle Jennings. , one of the many participants in Saturday’s Women’s Wave Day march in Washington, DC
The DC protest kicked off with a rally and then a march from Folger Park to the US Capitol grounds. It was one of several such nationwide rallies organized by the Women’s March as part of a “Women’s Wave” day of action.
Protesters carried signs that read, “We will never go back,” “Roe is settled law” and “The hardest decision a woman can make is not yours.”
Two women wore costumes from The Handmaid’s Tale TV series.
David Walsh, who was wearing a pro-Roe shirt, told CBS News he was there to support his wife and two daughters.
“I think it’s important for me as an adult, and especially an adult man, to show my family that I support their interests and believe in what they believe in,” Walsh said. “But I think it’s important that they see me as an activist for what I believe in, whether it’s this or something that I personally feel good about. They need to see me as an activist because that’s how change is made. “
JaPera Stith, who took the three-hour bus ride with a friend to DC, said she was also at the event to show support for women’s rights.
“Women’s rights, it’s about their bodies,” Stith said. “So they should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies, and I don’t like how men have so much say in that decision when they can’t get pregnant.”
There was a small group of counter-protesters at the DC event. CBS News witnessed one woman being taken into custody by police, but no specific details were immediately confirmed.
The event also takes place about a month before the midterm elections,is expected to be high on voters’ minds.
Davis Reginald, who marched with the health care union SEIU 1199, said he was marching for voting rights along with women’s rights.
“The right to vote is important because my ancestors fought for us to have the right to vote and I feel that we should exercise that right because a lot of people sacrificed a lot for that right,” Reginald said.
Meanwhile, Zohreh Khayam, originally from Iran, wanted to draw attention to Mahsa Amini’s death. Amini, 22, died after being taken into custody in Tehran last month by Iran’s colloquial “morality police” for violating the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Death hasboth in Iran and around the world.
Khayam asks for solidarity.
“They are not exposed to the opportunity to make decisions about their bodies, how they look, how they dress,” Khayam said. “And one of my hopes for coming today is that American women will give support to the Iranian people by going before the American government and asking them to intervene in what’s going on in the world and the treatment of women. in Iran.”