Published: 2024-01-20 14:01
Last Updated: 2024-02-25 01:43
Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators marched through snowy Washington on Friday, warning Republicans that the sensitive issue of reproductive health will weigh heavily on November's presidential election, reported AFP.
"Abortion is murder," chanted several in the group, many of them young adults, as they wound their way up to Capitol Hill past the Supreme Court and US Capitol buildings.
Some held up crosses or religious imagery, and urged Americans to "make more babies."
The movement that describes itself as "pro-life" scored a historic victory in June 2022 when the conservative-dominated US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling which had enshrined the right to abortion access everywhere in the United States.
That essentially left US states and territories free to enact their own laws around the procedure.
But since the end of Roe, the legislative and judicial battles over abortion have only multiplied -- and they have not fallen the pro-life camp's way.
Several states such as California, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio have voted to preserve abortion rights or voted down efforts to restrict them.
"We still have a lot of work to do," said Julie, an anti-abortion demonstrator from New Jersey who declined to give her last name.
She said not only must her side "continue to "educate" about abortion, states should provide more "sustainable" support for women who have unplanned pregnancies.
Organizers of the annual "March for Life" say the goal of their movement is to not only change laws, "but to change the culture to ultimately make abortion unthinkable."
"Hey GOP, we vote pro-life first," read one banner unfurled during the demonstration, referring to Republicans.
The warning against making concessions on the issue comes at a time when defending abortion is proving so far to be a winning strategy for Democrats.
Abortion is an unavoidable theme of the 2024 presidential campaign and Joe Biden's vice president, Kamala Harris, is launching a nationwide tour to defend reproductive rights choices.
She travels to Wisconsin on Monday, on the 51st anniversary of the Roe v Wade ruling.
Since nationwide abortion right protections were overturned, several Republican-led states have moved to severely restrict or even ban abortion, pushing thousands of women to undertake arduous and costly journey out of state to receive the procedure.
Polls, however, repeatedly show a clear majority of Americans support continued access to safe abortion