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Thousands of San Diegans protest SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade

Thousands gathered at two separate rallies Friday night in downtown San Diego to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and strip away constitutional protections for abortions.

About 1,000 people crowded around the steps of the Hall of Justice before setting off on a march through the streets of downtown.

Around the same time that procession began, another group of more than 1,000 was gathering near Waterfront Park outside the San Diego County Administration Center.

Both groups decried the court’s decision that upended the landmark 1973 opinion Roe v. Wade, which upheld a woman’s right to abortion without government restrictions.

Demonstrators marched down Broadway pass Federal Court where earlier they held a rally in front of the Hall of Justice on Friday, June 24, 2022 in downtown San Diego, CA. Approximately 1000 demonstrators were out protesting against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Tori Barron, who works for Planned Parenthood, told the group at the Hall of Justice that Friday’s decision was “outrageously undemocratic” and that “the people are going to fix this … from the bottom up.”

Said Barron: “I’m angry, I’m scared, but I’m ready to fight back.”

Signs at both protests called abortion access a healthcare issue and said there is no way to ban abortions, only to ban safe abortions.

“Forced motherhood is female enslavement,” read one man’s shirt. A woman held a sign that read, “Saving embryos by killing women.”

At the protest outside the county building, a group of pediatricians stood near the front of the large crowd as officials from the local Planned Parenthood and ACLU branches spoke.

Many who gathered feared the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority and has lurched even further right in recent years following three appointments by former President Donald Trump, will next turn its attention to rolling back LGBTQ rights and even the use of contraceptives.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in his concurring opinion, wrote that the same rationale the Supreme Court used to declare there was no right to abortion should also be used to overturn the court’s 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, a 2003 decision striking down laws criminalizing gay sex and a 1965 decision declaring that married couples have a right to use contraception.

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