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Democrats urge Americans to stand up for abortion rights

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democratic lawmakers are calling for mass mobilization on the eve of a nationwide day of action in support of abortion rights. ©AFP

Washington (AFP) - US Democrats called Friday for a giant mobilization for abortion rights on the eve of a nationwide day of protest against an expected Supreme Court move to end federal protections for the procedure.

Multiple US organizations plan to rally Saturday, after a leaked draft ruling showed the court's conservative majority poised to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a right to abortion.

"I hope to see each and every one of our colleagues and the public at one of these rallies because I know we're going to turn out en masse," said Barbara Lee, a House Democrat who has in the past spoken publicly about her own back-alley abortion.

"We're not going to be denied the right to make decisions about our own bodies will not stop fighting until everyone -- and I mean everyone -- has access to safe, legal and accessible abortions no matter their income, their zip code or their race."

A Democratic drive to make the right to abortion the law of the land failed in the Senate on Wednesday after Republicans refused to allow a vote on the issue.

The House-passed Women's Health Protection Act would have created a federal statute ensuring access to terminations for patients nationwide -- but all 50 Republicans and one of the 50 Democrats voted not to consider the legislation.

"Once Republicans shred long standing precedent and privacy rights, they intend to wage an all-out assault on more of our rights, including access to contraception and marriage equality," Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, told reporters. 

"As Republicans seek to control and criminalize women's reproductive health freedoms, Democrats are fighting to enshrine Roe v. Wade into law."

Campaigners are planning a "massive day of action" with four "anchor marches" in New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles Saturday, as well as hundreds of smaller events across the country.

The groups are also urging more mobilization throughout the summer, when the final Supreme Court decision is set to be issued.

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Dive Deeper:
Senate Democrats fail to pass legislation to protect abortion rights as Roe hangs in the balance
Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition effectively killed the legislation’s chances.
Democrats lose Senate vote to codify abortion rights into federal law
Final tally was 49-51, with all Republicans and one conservative Democrat, Joe Manchin, voting against the measure
Abortion rights bill falls short in Senate, but Democrats hope to send message
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Wednesday failed to advance a bill to establish a federal right to abortion, but they…
Knocked Up and the American Impulse to Edit Out Abortion
How the comedy, now 15 years old, foresaw Roe’s looming tragedies
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Chicagoans rally across the city for abortion rights: ‘Everything else is up for grabs’
Demonstrations took place at Union Park, Millennium Park and in the Beverly neighborhood, as part of the national “Bans Off…
Democrats lose Senate vote to codify abortion rights 49-51 – as it happened
Democrat Joe Manchin sides with Republicans in voting against the measure
Get all your news in one place