Thousands march in pro-abortion rally in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Thousands of people marched and rallied in San Francisco in support of reproductive rights and a San Mateo County supervisor issued a statement in favor of pro-abortion sanctuaries on Saturday.

The actions were in response to the leak earlier this month of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade.

Since the leak, activists in the Bay Area have responded with a variety of actions on both sides of the issue.

There have been abortion marches before, both for and against, but Saturday’s was bigger than most as Bay Area abortion-rights advocates joined a national outcry.

“It’s huge and we’re excited,” said Ruth Robertson of the Raging Grannies Action League. “And it’s not just the East Coast, it’s Chicago, it’s Texas, and it’s in small towns and big cities and San Francisco had to be a part of this. There’s no way San Francisco isn’t a big part of this and we’re a much of it.”

“Enough is enough! We feel comfortable,” Tyleigha Hagood told the crowd gathered at the Civic Center Main Library. The National Reproductive Justice organizer said everyone needs to be realistic about the direction the court is taking.

“I think people need to start accepting the hard truth of realizing that this leak is a decision by the Supreme Court justices,” he said. “We can still fight, we can still act, we can still riot in the streets, but doing it knowing that they’ve made their choice, that this is where they are, will empower people that much more.” .”

With that, thousands marched from the Civic Center to Market Street, heading for the boardwalk. Among them was Janice Campbell of Oakland, who said that while the abortion discussion is not over, she thought it had been decided as a matter of right.

“I was in law school when it was settled,” he said, “and we all assumed it would last forever, but we didn’t think religious fanatics would take over the Court and our way of life would be destroyed.”

Those old enough to remember when Roe v. Wade in 1973 understand how controversial the issue was and has been ever since.

“I feel like we’ve been fighting for the last 50 years to keep it,” said Katherine Wilson of Palo Alto. “I feel like it’s been under threat for a long time.”

Younger women, like SF resident Kaci Barry, grew up with the idea of ​​abortion as a constitutional right and now face the possibility that that may no longer be true.

“I can’t believe that in 2022 we are marching for abortion rights,” Barry said. “Growing up, that was something that was protected and something that I knew I had access to and knowing that now it’s threatened for me and our children and our granddaughters is horrible.”

Some advocate for a federal law to legalize abortion nationwide. A recent CBS poll showed that 58 percent of Americans favor the idea, while 42 percent oppose it.

By design, the Supreme Court is the only branch of government that is not supposed to be affected by public opinion. So how much influence can mass protest marches have?

Angela A., a San Francisco resident, believes it won’t change any judge’s mind, but feels that if people become more politically active, they can influence future court appointments, even if the process seems terribly slow to come. Some.

“They are getting away with it. Republicans have been planning this for decades,” she said. “They’re winning right now, but that doesn’t mean it has to be forever. They can win this battle. Eventually, we could get back to what it should be and we could win the war.”

Also Saturday, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa issued a statement after the Redwood City Council asked the county to create a buffer zone at the Planned Parenthood clinic in unincorporated Redwood City. The clinic falls under the jurisdiction of San Mateo County.

“With an ongoing assault on women’s reproductive rights, we need to create ‘Pro Choice Sanctuaries’ and ‘Buffer Zones’ at abortion clinics to protect the privacy and rights of women seeking reproductive care, even if they come from out of state,” said Canepa.

Canepa said he felt the county should work with cities to create buffer zones at all county health care clinics that provide reproductive health care.

“We have seen an increase in protests at clinics like Planned Parenthood located at 2907 El Camino Real on the outskirts of Redwood City. Therefore, I agree with the Redwood City Council that the county should create a buffer zone” said the overseer. saying.

“No woman should be afraid to take care of her own body by seeking care at these clinics,” Canepa said.

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