Thousands of women protest abortion bans across America as Louisiana becomes seventh State to pass ‘shameful’ laws


WOMEN across the United States took to the streets to protest against a wave of new laws restricting abortion.

More than 500 demonstrations targeted courthouses and town squares as Louisiana became the seventh US state to attempt to roll back abortion access in recent weeks.

Pro-abortion rights activists protest at the Supreme Court in Washington

Other states to pass laws trying to restrict abortion this year include Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Exceptions for rape and incest are not included in many of the new laws.

Carrying placards with slogans such as “Keep abortion safe and legal” and “My outrage will not fit on this sign”, the protesters voiced their anger.

Brandi Borgwat, 42, from Woodstock, Georgia, joined the protests outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC after realising what was happening in her state.

“I didn’t protest before because it sounded so insane that I didn’t believe it would pass,” she said.

Lauri Ploch, 67, Alexandria, Virginia, had sign depicting a drawing of a uterus and the message “Mine, not yours.”

She said her generation mistakenly believed struggles over abortion were in the past.

“I got complacent for a little while. I think a lot of people did. Right now we need to really get up in their faces and show that we are ready to fight to keep our rights.”

A number of celebrities, including Hilary Clinton, Rihanna, and Emma Watson, have spoken out in support of the protestors.

Several Democratic presidential hopefuls addressed the crowd including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

“I cannot tell you how important this moment in our country’s history is,” Gillibrand said.

“Do not allow this moment to lapse without putting everything you can behind it. Organise, advocate and vote.”

Last week, Alabama passed America’s most restrictive abortion law, allowing exceptions only when the health of the mother is at serious risk or the foetus is not expected to survive.

A doctor who performs an abortion in the state could be imprisoned for between 10 and 99 years.

The laws differ from state to state, but most ban abortion after a foetal heartbeat has been detected, which typically occurs well before the end the 12 weeks.

The new laws won’t come into effect unless a federal law legalising abortion is overturned.

A controversial decision by the Supreme Court in 1973 known as Roe v. Wade ruled that the choice to have an abortion was a fundamental right for women in America.

Opponents of the decision have been campaigning against it since it was made.

Of the nine judges of the Court, a majority are currently conservatives, and anti-abortion campaigners are hopeful of getting the ruling reversed.

If they succeed, states would be free to make their own laws governing abortion at every stage of pregnancy.

President Trump, who has appointed two conservative judges to the Supreme Court since taking office in 2017, tweeted this week that he favours the right to an abortion in the cases of incest, rape, or to protect the life of the mother.

Protesters demonstrate at the West Hollywood City Hall in Hollywood, California
Abortion-rights campaigners attend a rally against new restrictions on abortion in New York City
An protester holding up a placard outside the Supreme Court
AFP or licensors


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