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In what might be the biggest mass mobilization since racial justice protests swept through the city in 2020, thousands of Philadelphians gathered at City Hall Friday evening to decry the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, removing constitutional abortion protections enshrined since 1973.
Philly’s rally was one of dozens that broke out around the nation to proclaim support for abortion access after the ruling came down.
People rallied everywhere from New York and Los Angeles to Louisville and San Antonio, while a big crowd swelled in Washington DC outside the Supreme Court building. Pennsylvanians won’t be immediately impacted, unlike several other states where declarations by local officials led clinics to begin canceling existing appointments.
In Pa., abortion is currently legal up to 24 weeks, though patients getting the procedure must observe a 24-hour waiting period, and receive counseling designed to be a deterrent. (Here’s a list of places offering services in Philadelphia.)
More demonstrations are planned for this weekend, including one Saturday afternoon at the National Constitution Center in Philly, where Democratic candidate for Pa. governor Josh Shapiro is expected to speak.
If elected, Shapiro has vowed to uphold protections for abotion access in the state. His opponent in November, Republican nominee Doug Mastriano, who has pledged to completely restrict access. The sharp contrast led the New York Times to call the Pa. governor’s race “the most important election this year in America” when it comes to abortion.
The court’s Friday morning ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson was explicitly touted by Justice Clarence Thomas as the start of a larger rollback of federal protections for things like access to contraception and gay marriage.
Using signs and chants, Philadelphians Hall made their voices heard on the right to abortion and those other issues at the City Hall gathering, which brought out people of all ages.
Scroll through for some sights and scenes posted to social media from what’s likely the first of several reproductive rights rallies in Philly this month.