Thousands of protesters hit the streets on Tuesday in nationwide rallies to support abortion rights following recent legislative efforts to ban most abortions in several states.
More than 500 demonstrations had been planned for noon, local time, at statehouses, town squares and courthouses in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Ottawa, Canada, as part of the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans.
Supporting demonstrations were also planned in Italy, India and Brussels, according to the event’s website.
“Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access,” the event’s website says. “Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families, and their doctors.”
Tuesday’s flagship event kicked off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., with various speakers, including Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“We are here to say enough is enough. We’re going to fight you and we’re going to win,” Klobuchar shouted into a megaphone while surrounded by placards promoting reproductive rights.
“This is a matter, my friends, of civil rights,” she said. “We cannot allow them to move this country backward.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also took the microphone and criticized recent legislation that aims to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which protects abortion rights.
“They’re not just wrong ― they are cruel, they are extreme and they are designed to control women’s decisions and criminalize doctors,” Murray said of the wave of new state laws. “They make it harder for women to plan families and be economically secure.”
Other 2020 candidates attending the event included Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
More than 50 organizations partnered for the event, including Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Catholics for Choice, the Center for American Progress, the Women’s March and the Sierra Club.
“Politicians, take notice: If you come for our reproductive freedom, you’ll have to get through ALL of us,” the ACLU said in a Tuesday tweet that shared a map showing some of the day’s planned protests. The post also included the event’s social media hashtag, #stopthebans.
At a rally in New York’s Foley Square, protester Scott Stringer told HuffPost that New York should become the first city to directly fund abortion care.
“Abortion is health care and abortion is a fundamental right,” Stringer said. “We need to put our money where our mouth is. There’s more that government can do.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who recently announced his 2020 presidential candidacy, said at the rally that “it’s a small group of right-wing extremists who are trying to ignore that American majority ... but we are not going back, are we?”
The rallies were organized after Alabama’s governor last Wednesday signed the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law, which would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases, including rape and incest.
Then last Friday, Missouri passed a bill that would ban abortions ― including for women who had conceived from rape or incest ― after eight weeks, which is often before women know they’re pregnant. Gov. Mike Parson (R) has said he will sign that bill into law.
Georgia and Ohio have also passed so-called “heartbeat” bills that would prohibit an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This is typically as early as six weeks into pregnancy and, again, before most women know they’re pregnant.
Across the nation, protesters staged demonstrations in their own cities, and events are planned for later this week as well.
Check out photos from various rallies throughout the country below.
About 75 protesters are here in Boulder speaking out against abortion bans that are either being discussed or being passed in several states. There is a similar protest in Fort Collins with about 50 protesters and there’s a planned event tonight in Denver. @DenverChannel pic.twitter.com/ZJ8d9gnsla— Meghan Lopez (@Meghan_Lopez) May 21, 2019
A group of 50 #StopTheBan protestors rally outside #PlannedParenthood on S. Shields in Fort Collins. At least 2 traveled from WY to have their voices be heard regarding recent legislations passed in Alabama/Missouri @DenverChannel @Meghan_Lopez pic.twitter.com/qsVznVXU9c— Major King (@MajorDenver7) May 21, 2019
Today, a number of groups, including several coalition partners (Planned Parenthood of Delaware, ACLU-DE and Network Delaware) co-sponsored a #StopTheBan pro-choice/women’s rights rally at Rodney Square. pic.twitter.com/E7NxPPHuTS— DELAWARE WOMEN (@DelawareWomen) May 21, 2019
“Connect with the groups here on the ground who have been leading this fight – organizations led by black women, by queer and trans folks.” Jalessah Jackson, Georgia Coordinator – at Atlanta #StoptheBans rally #abortionsolidarity pic.twitter.com/n1fQPZ3mHy— SisterSong (@SisterSong_WOC) May 21, 2019
Thank you to everyone who showed up to #StopTheBans in Savannah today! Roe v. Wade has allowed people to access abortion legally and prevented people from dying from unsafe, illegal abortions. #WeWontGoBack! pic.twitter.com/mGLt2FyHGh— Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates (@PPSE_Advocates) May 21, 2019
Standing in support of women's reproductive freedom with @PPIndKentucky at the Indiana Statehouse today. #WomenDemandReproductiveFreedom #NeverAgain #StopTheBan #WeWontGoBack pic.twitter.com/XTcXSrQ7Rz— Annette Gross (@Annette144) May 21, 2019
#StopTheBan rallies happening nationwide. #Kentucky’s pro-choice protestors standing up against the recent wave of anti-abortion laws passing in some states like Alabama, Missouri and more recently Georgia. pic.twitter.com/Mt9GA41myw— Senait Gebregiorgis (@SenaitTV) May 21, 2019
A #StopTheBans rally against recently enacted anti-abortion measures in Kentucky and other states like Alabama and Missouri is about to get started outside the federal building in Louisville. @courierjournal pic.twitter.com/OF4ht3qYMP— Billy Kobin (@Billy_Kobin) May 21, 2019
I #trustwomen to make their own decisions. I’m also lucky enough to work and collaborate with women who work tirelessly in the fight to keep it that way. #stopthebans @akledger @erinmayequade @bethgendler @prochoicemn @genderjustice pic.twitter.com/9yI28z2vh5— Kristy Wesson (@kdwesson18) May 21, 2019
"The only thing that stands between MN becoming Alabama is a handful of legislators and a pro-choice governor. So we say NO MORE."— TakeAction Minnesota (@TakeActionMN) May 21, 2019
It's time to fight back. #StopTheBans @ErinMayeQuade @GenderJustice pic.twitter.com/iYeJkY2Jmo
#stlouis, MO #StopTheBans rally was wonderful. Speeches from OBGYNs, STL treasurer, Senate and House rep’s, and powerful local activists.— Sarah (@sroseisuppose) May 21, 2019
One of my favorite parts; all the truckers honking in support pic.twitter.com/k1LbjaiiTL
The far right has its sights set on making it a crime for a woman to exercise agency over her own life. #TeamPascrell is in #Englewood today to join our neighbors to #StoptheBans. pic.twitter.com/7wXJ7lHuW7— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) May 21, 2019
HAPPENING NOW: The National Organization For Women are gathering at UNC in protest of abortion bans around the country. They’re part of #StopTheBans and there are several protests happening across North Carolina today. pic.twitter.com/6efF4K1wKH— Kaitlyn Connolly (@KConnollyTV) May 21, 2019
Big cities are great, but I am HERE for these #StopTheBans protests in place like Waynesville NC (pop <10,000)! Thank you all! Please stay involved with @NARALNC to stop all to real abortion bans being pushed by some of your elected officials! pic.twitter.com/b2oHUGygNe— K. Travis Ballie (@KTravisBallie) May 21, 2019
Women are sharing their stories about abortion and fighting for abortion rights. Many of them are chanting, “we won’t go back”. pic.twitter.com/SpIK4t5B6x— Ben Garbarek (@BenWSYX6) May 21, 2019
Protesters are chanting, “not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate.” pic.twitter.com/QqMhu4W5KH— Ben Garbarek (@BenWSYX6) May 21, 2019
#StopTheBans signs in Philly today:— cassfell of the north (@cassfell) May 21, 2019
- Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is a right
- Let doctors do their jobs
- Women's health is not partisan
- Stop punishing women. 100% of unwanted pregnancies are caused by men
- Against abortion? Have a vasectomy
- Lock him up
- #WeWontGoBack pic.twitter.com/WXtsQRmDRg
hundreds of passionate pro-choice demonstrators packed the median of S Broad Street in #Philly, chanting against recent anti-abortion legislation in GA, ALA & MO that aims to draw a Supreme Court ruling against Roe v Wade. #stopthebans @ACLU @aclupa #RoeVWade #abortionrights pic.twitter.com/M4vvzM3mmO— Donald D Groff (@dgroff) May 21, 2019
Happening right now! A rally at the state capitol...protesting any legislation that would ban abortions like in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri Kentucky and other states. @WACHBryantM @wachfox pic.twitter.com/ehSijW6HdG— Bryant Monteilh (@WACHBryantM) May 21, 2019
Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is a right. And Tennessee is ready, willing and able to fight to defend our right to make our own decisions about what happens to our bodies. #StopTheBans pic.twitter.com/zxXZAEbqN7— ACLU of Tennessee (@aclutn) May 21, 2019
WOW!!!!#Nashville showed up!!! We’re out here today with @TNAdvocatesPP, @WomensMarchTN, @aclutn, @MidTNDSA and so many others!!— Nashville & Middle TN Indivisible (@TNIndivisible) May 21, 2019
Women are fighting back for #reproductivechoice all across the South. #StoptheBans 👊🏾👊🏿👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/FqNKyiKMQA
Anti-choice legislators filed almost 40 bills this session in Texas. Bills that would infringe on our constitutionally protected rights to safe, legal, abortion care.— ACLU of Texas (@ACLUTx) May 21, 2019
We are here today, loud and proud to say: abortion is healthcare and we must #StopTheBans! #TrustRespectAccess pic.twitter.com/RJIQAh0jMY
So happy to have seen so many different generations out at the beginning of the #StopTheBans rally in Austin. *could only drive by and scream my support bc work but I STAN YOU ALL and thank you for showing up for #HumanRights pic.twitter.com/h7jdhoBbyI— Taylor B. K. (@TaylorBKamnetz) May 21, 2019
I'm at City Hall Plaza w hundreds protesting blatant right-wing attacks on abortion rights in Alabama & Mississippi. The best way to fight Trump & the right? Build mass protests, a national day of action, workplace strike actions for full abortion rights for all & Medicare 4 All! pic.twitter.com/qvtFStUDtz— Kshama Sawant (@cmkshama) May 21, 2019
Amanda Terkel contributed reporting from Washington, D.C., and Emma Gray contributed reporting from New York City.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.