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Protests in Downtown Austin in wake of leaked Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade

The leaked draft opinion suggests the Supreme Court could reverse the landmark ruling on abortion.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday evening, Politico leaked a draft opinion from the Supreme Court suggesting that the nation's highest court could be poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision regarding a woman's rights to abortion.

Soon after, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked opinion. He also ordered an investigation into the leak, which he called an "egregious breach of trust."

“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case,” he added.

On Tuesday, abortion rights organizations across the state held rallies at federal courthouses to protest the pending decision in another case, Whole Woman's Health v. Jackson.

In Austin, multiple rallies were planned, including one at 5 p.m. at Federal Court Plaza on 422 Guadalupe Street.

"One, two, three, four, abortion is worth fighting for," chanted a large crowd of abortion rights supporters. 

Passion for abortion rights echoed through the streets of downtown.

"There was a leak of an opinion that was supposed to come out this summer that alleged Roe v. Wade would be overturned," yelled advocacy director at Progress Texas Diana Gomez. "Are we going to let this happen?"

Not only did activists attend, but so did those who say they remember life without the option.

"Abortions today are safe," said Ana Aalas-Poras. "Now women are going to be put in situations that are unsafe."

Sixteen-year-old Nicole Perry said she cried when she heard the news. 

"I am scared that one day I am going to need an abortion and then I won't be able to get one," said Perry. "If we overturn this right, then what are they going to do next?"

In the midst of the crowd standing shoulder to shoulder was Chris Stevens, representing the other side of this debate.

"I believe the weak and the helpless should be protected," said Stevens, "I think that a child in the womb is the weakest and helpless of all." 

The crowd in Austin continued to chant. 

"Folks most impacted by these abortion bans are low-income people, are immigrants, Black and Brown folks," said Gomez. "A lot of folks don't have the money to flee the state to be able to access health care."

The protestors then flooded Congress Avenue and beyond in the hopes that Texas lawmakers hear them.

That demonstration was spearheaded by the organization Progress Texas. Other organizations participating included:

  • Avow
  • Lilith Fund
  • Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
  • Planned Parenthood Greater Texas
  • Jane’s Due Process
  • Texas Freedom Network
  • ACLU of Texas

Women's March also called on people across the nation to head to local federal buildings, town halls and town squares at 5 p.m. to defend abortion rights.

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