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Washington (AFP) – Thousands of people attended an annual anti-abortion rally on Friday with hopes this year that the conservative-majority Supreme Court will overturn the landmark decision that legalized abortion in the United States 50 years ago.
“We hope and pray that this year 2022 will bring historic change for life,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.
“Years of hard work and your coming here got us here,” Mancini told anti-abortion activists as he shivered on a freezing day on the National Mall in Washington.
“This year is more of a celebration because we know this year is the beginning of the end of abortion in America,” said Joseph Scordato, a 20-year-old from Wisconsin who was dressed as a medieval knight and carried a cross. giantess. .
“The future is anti-abortion,” read signs carried by members of the crowd, who descended on the nation’s capital from across the country.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Dec. 1 about a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks, a case known as Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The conservative wing of the court – which includes three justices appointed by former President Donald Trump – appears poised to uphold the law and perhaps go further and overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized the abortion.
If Roe is overturned, each of the 50 U.S. states could potentially establish its own abortion laws.
Severely restricting abortion laws have already been passed in several Republican-led states, but were struck down for violating Roe v Wade, which guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion until the fetus was viable. outside the uterus, usually between 22 and 24 weeks.
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
March activists said if Roe was overthrown, they would continue their anti-abortion efforts in the states.
“I’m so excited because this could be the last March for Life where Roe v Wade still exists in our country,” said Karlie Lodjic, 24, a member of Students for Life from Washington State.
“If canceled, it will not immediately ban abortion everywhere,” Lodjic said. “We’re still going to have work to do in every state and make sure life is respected and protected everywhere.”
Marsha Chamberlain, 72, of Pennsylvania, said she had been on the march since 1985 and had only missed four.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” Chamberlain said. “This could be the last step and I pray that it is, that the Supreme Court rules in favor of Mississippi and that states can decide for themselves to protect the unborn.”
Missy Martinez-Stone, 32, of Louisville, Kentucky, said she has been doing “pro-life work” for 17 years.
“I always imagined I would see the end of Roe versus Wade but I didn’t think it would be this soon,” Martinez-Stone said.
“But I know it’s not the end,” she said. “If it’s overturned at the federal level, it will just go back to the states. And so we still have a lot of work to do.”
“I’m optimistic, but that doesn’t mean our job is done,” she said.
Joshua Schulz, 42, of Pennsylvania, attended the march with three of his five children.
“I came here to stand in solidarity with other Americans who believe all life is sacred,” Schulz said, “and to pray for an end to the sin of abortion.”
Decision in June
The court is expected to issue a decision in the Mississippi case by June.
Public opinion polls have found that most Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
But a section of the population, particularly on the religious right, never accepted the Roe v Wade ruling and campaigned tirelessly for it to be overturned.
© 2022 AFP