WASHINGTON (AP) — One 12 months in the past, the annual March for Life protest in opposition to authorized abortion happened in Washington amid a temper of undisguised triumph. With a recent conservative majority on the Supreme Courtroom, hundreds of marchers braved bitterly chilly climate to have a good time the seemingly inevitable fall of Roe v. Wade.
Now, with the constitutional proper to abortion now not the rule of the land, the March for Life returns Friday with a brand new focus. As an alternative of concentrating their consideration on the Supreme Courtroom, the marchers plan to focus on the constructing immediately throughout the road: the U.S. Capitol.
Motion leaders say they plan to warn Congress in opposition to making any try to curtail the a number of anti-abortion legal guidelines imposed final 12 months in a dozen totally different states.
“This 12 months will likely be a somber reminder of the tens of millions of lives misplaced to abortion up to now 50 years, but additionally a celebration of how far we’ve got come and the place we as a motion have to focus our effort as we enter this new period in our quest to guard life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Schooling and Protection Fund, mentioned in an announcement.
Some motion leaders additionally hope to plant seeds in Congress for a possible federal abortion restriction down the road. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Professional-Life America, mentioned she envisions an eventual “federal minimal commonplace” cut-off line equivalent to 13 weeks of being pregnant after which abortion wouldn’t be permitted in any state. Dannenfelser’s situation would nonetheless depart particular person states free to impose their very own, stricter measures, together with a complete ban.
That final ambition is an admitted longshot since even when it passes the newly Republican-controlled Home of Representatives, it could most probably fail within the Democratic-held Senate.
“We all know it’s not going to occur this session, however that is the start,” Dannenfelser mentioned. “It is (Congress’) accountability to hearken to the need of the individuals.”
In allow functions to the Nationwide Park Service, protest organizers estimated 50,000 individuals this 12 months, about the identical dimension as earlier marches.
Within the absence of Roe v. Wade’s federal protections, abortion rights have turn out to be a state-by-state patchwork.
Since June, near-total bans on abortion have been carried out in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Authorized challenges are pending in opposition to a number of of these bans.
Elective abortions are also unavailable in Wisconsin, resulting from authorized uncertainties confronted by abortion clinics, and in North Dakota, the place the lone clinic relocated to Minnesota.
Bans handed by lawmakers in Ohio, Indiana and Wyoming have been blocked by state courts whereas authorized challenges are pending. And in South Carolina, the state Supreme Courtroom on Jan. 5 struck down a ban on abortion after six weeks, ruling the restriction violates a state constitutional proper to privateness.
However different states have witnessed sudden pushback on the problem. Voters in Kansas and Kentucky rejected constitutional amendments that may have declared there isn’t any proper to abortion; Michigan voters accepted an modification enshrining the suitable to abortion within the state structure.
President Joe Biden’s administration has restricted choices within the wake of the Supreme Courtroom resolution. Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to offer a speech in Florida on Sunday, the fiftieth anniversary of the unique Roe v. Wade ruling, to emphasise that abortion rights stay a core focus for the administration.
“The vice chairman will make very clear: The struggle to safe ladies’s basic proper to reproductive well being care is much from over,” mentioned an announcement from Kirsten Allen, a Harris spokesperson. “She is going to lay out the implications of extremist assaults on reproductive freedom in states throughout our nation and underscore the necessity for Congress to codify Roe.”
In response to an Related Press-NORC Heart for Public Affairs Analysis ballot performed in July, 53% of U.S. adults mentioned they disapproved of the Supreme Courtroom’s repeal of Roe, whereas 30% accepted.
Dannenfelser disputes these numbers and says that whereas blanket abortion bans are a divisive difficulty amongst voters, restricted restrictions equivalent to a ban after the primary trimester of being pregnant are “wildly in style” in each crimson and blue states.
Anti-abortion activists even have their eye on the upcoming 2024 presidential elections and are primarily vetting potential candidates over their views on the problem. Dannenfelser mentioned she met lately with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a possible main Republican candidate, and got here away “extremely impressed,” however mentioned it was nonetheless too early for her group to endorse anybody.
She predicted that there will likely be some “fault traces” amongst Republican presidential contenders over abortion rights and protections, however warned that any candidate perceived as being smooth on the problem could have “disqualified him or herself as a presidential candidate in our eyes, and having accomplished so has little or no likelihood of successful the nomination.”
David Crary contributed from New York Metropolis.