LOS ANGELES—Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the Southland Saturday as part of a nationwide effort to protect abortion rights, with the U.S. Supreme Court apparently poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
The Women’s March Foundation said it received more than 50,000 signups for the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally outside Los Angeles City Hall, which began at 10 a.m.
Speakers at the event included Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California), Reps. Karen Bass and Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), attorney Gloria Allred, state Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, and more.
“LA is for women, and we are a sanctuary,” Garcetti said.
There were no arrests as of 1:30 p.m., Officer Rosario Cervantes of the Los Angeles Police Department told City News Service.
In Orange County, a few thousand people turned out for a 10 a.m. rally at Centennial Park in Santa Ana. Speakers included Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine).
The rallies follow a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that revealed the court privately voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
That ruling is not yet final, but is expected to be handed down in the next month or two.
If the Supreme Court’s decision does become final, it would strip away federal protection of abortion, and leave it up to individual states to set abortion policies.
Famously liberal California is unlikely to take steps to ban or limit access to abortion, and discussions have already been underway about using the state as a safe haven for women across the country to pursue reproductive health care.