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Abortion Rights Supporters Rally In Downtown LA As Part Of Nationwide 'Bans Off Our Bodies' Protests

Hundreds of people are seen sitting and standing on a large lawn in downtown Los Angeles. Many are holding signs in support of abortion rights.
Demonstrators began gathering this morning outside LA City Hall as part of nationwide "Ban Off Our Bodies" protests
(Claudia Peschiutta
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Supporters of abortion rights gathered outside L.A. City Hall Saturday as part of nationwide "Bans Off Our Bodies" rallies.

It was one of several events held throughout Southern California. Other rallies were held in Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Long Beach, Palos Verdes Estates and many other cities.

A handful of events were planned for this day of action before the leak of a draft opinion indicating that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. After the leak, the number of events jumped to more than 200.

Among the thousands of demonstrators who gathered this morning at City Hall was Suzanne Weerts of Burbank. She said comes from a family opposed to abortion rights but says she's "angry" at what she was taught as a child.

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"So many women's lives will be in jeopardy, absolutely in jeopardy and for the poor and the oppressed across our country who won't have access to get out of their state and find health care elsewhere," she said. "I'm standing up for them."

She added, "We need to provide the resources for the women who have children now and "not force women to have children when they don't want to."

Emiliana Guereca, president and founder of the Women’s March Foundation, one of the organizers of the rallies, told LAist on Friday that while people in California have secure abortion rights, the rally is necessary to stand up for women across the country who don't have the same protections.

"We are part of this movement that started 50 years ago. And what we thought was settled law is apparently not settled law," Guereca said. "So we should all be worried about this leak that may overturn Roe v. Wade."

She says if the high court does end up throwing out the landmark 1973 decision, the foundation will focus on mobilizing and voter registration in parts of the country where reproductive freedoms may be at risk.

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