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Protesters gather in support of abortion access following leaked draft opinion

Protesters marched in downtown LA in reaction to the recent Supreme Court Roe v. Wade draft opinion. They demonstrated with signs outside the U.S. courthouse and in Pershing Square Park. (Seth Van Matre/Daily Bruin)

By Benjamin Apsley, Maanas Hemanth Oruganti, and Kurtis Yan

May 3, 2022 11:39 p.m.

This post was updated May 4 at 10:12 p.m.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at several demonstrations around Los Angeles on Tuesday, including in Westwood, to protest a potential United States Supreme Court decision that would allow states to outlaw abortion.

An anonymous whistleblower leaked a Supreme Court draft opinion Monday that indicated the court may overturn its previous decision on Roe v. Wade, allowing individual states to decide the legality of abortion because abortion is not referenced explicitly in the Constitution. Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court case wherein the court recognized abortion as protected under the constitutional right to privacy, according to Reuters.

Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the Wilshire Federal Building at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue starting at 5 p.m. and demanded that abortion remain legal following the recently leaked draft opinion on Roe v. Wade. Hundreds also protested in front of the U.S. courthouse on W. First Street in downtown LA.

Protesters at the Wilshire Federal Building waved signs including those that read “Keep Abortion Legal” and “No Forced Birth.” Throughout the demonstration on Wilshire, protesters chanted slogans such as “Hell no, Roe won’t go,” “Women’s rights, human rights” and “We won’t go back.” 

Protesters gathered outside the Wilshire Federal Building Tuesday. They held signs and chanted slogans calling for abortion to remain legal. (Shengfeng Chien/Daily Bruin)

Mana Shooshtari, field director at Grassroots Democrats HQ and a protester at the federal building, said she hopes the nationwide protests encourage one or more Supreme Court justices to walk back their potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Grassroots Democrats HQ is a nonprofit organization that works to increase Democratic representation in the U.S. government, according to its website.

“I’m looking at the Supreme Court right now as politicians dressed in robes,” said Andrew Weyman, a protester outside the Wilshire Federal Building.

Hundreds of protesters also gathered at 6:30 p.m. in downtown LA to listen to speeches from activists. 

Protesters at the courthouse waved signs including those that read “Safe abortion is a human right,” “Bans off our bodies” and “Thou shall not mess with women’s reproductive rights.” Throughout the demonstration in downtown LA, protesters chanted slogans such as “My body, my choice,” “Legalize abortion now” and “Our streets.”

The protesters later marched from the courthouse around 7:30 p.m. to Pershing Square Park. Near 8 p.m., the crowd swelled to nearly a thousand protesters as more speeches were made in the park. 

Protesters demonstrated in downtown LA in front of the U.S. courthouse Tuesday. They heard speeches from activists and marched in protest of the recent Supreme Court draft opinion about overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. (Shengfeng Chien/Daily Bruin)

The protest began to subside around 8:30 p.m., and some protesters also clashed with police officers downtown. 

Lynne Brown, a protester at Wilshire, said she hopes the initial protests will spark more unified action that goes beyond marching.“This is women’s healthcare. It’s a human right,” Brown said. “That’s why I’m here.”

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Benjamin Apsley
Maanas Hemanth Oruganti | News senior staff
Oruganti is the city and crime editor. He was also the 2020-2021 Enterprise editor and a News staff writer in the City & Crime and Science & Health beats 2020. He is also a fourth-year cognitive science student at UCLA.
Oruganti is the city and crime editor. He was also the 2020-2021 Enterprise editor and a News staff writer in the City & Crime and Science & Health beats 2020. He is also a fourth-year cognitive science student at UCLA.
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