Thousands are expected to take to the streets and gather in parks across Southern California on Saturday, May 14, for rallies in support of reproductive rights.
Many of the “ban our bodies abortion rally” events were planned in advance of the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion on May 2, in Roe v. Wade’s plan to undo federal protections around abortion access that has existed for half a century. In fact, Emiliana Guerreca, co-founder of the Women’s March Foundation, said she first learned of the draft opinion after seeing why there was a sudden dramatic increase in registrations for the rally planned for the stages of Los Angeles City Hall.
“At this point we are getting a few registrations a minute,” she said.
A good number of participants are telling organizers that they have not supported the Women’s March events before, Guerreca said, when an estimated 750,000 people marched in Los Angeles after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. .
“They thought we were wrong and that Roe v. Wade would never fall, or that it would not be possible in the United States,” Guerreca said.
“But whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, women’s rights are on the line. It should never have been politicised.”
While advocates hoped the Supreme Court would open the row this summer, organizers of a rally held at Centennial Park in Santa Ana said they were struggling to create a sense of urgency around the threat to abortion rights – Before the opinion leaked.
In early May, she signed up 400 people to attend Saturday’s event, according to Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino counties, according to Sadaf Rahmani. Within two days of the row leak, that number had tripled. They now expect 5,000 people who will listen to speakers, share their testimonials, prompt and build support for candidates and legislation that supports abortion access.
“I think the leak was a huge wakeup call for people,” said Nicole Ramirez, who is also with Planned Parenthood for Orange and San Bernardino counties. “Now they’ve been fired and they’re angry – as they should be. We’ve never lost a constitutional right before.”
There was no word on Friday about any major plans for the protests or related anti-abortion rallies. But Ramirez said they are working with the local police department and providing their security to make sure it is a “safe, family-friendly event”.
Organizers are encouraging supporters to take public transportation, ride-sharing services or carpool, especially at LA events. And since Saturday is expected to be hot, near 100 degrees in places like Riverside, they recommend bringing plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen.
Here are details about major events happening in Southern California.
Downtown Los Angeles
A volunteer-organized march will begin at 9 a.m. in Pershing Square at 532 S. Olive St. Supporters will walk under a mile to Los Angeles City Hall at 200 N. Spring St.
An official Women’s March rally is planned at City Hall from 10 a.m. until at least noon. A growing list of politicians, advocates and celebrities are due to speak, including US Alex Padilla, attorney Gloria Allred and actress Ricky Lake.
A Planned Parenthood-organized rally is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon at Centennial Regional Park at 3000 W. Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana. No march planned.
Speakers include Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine and Lt. Gov. Eleni Konalakis. There will be a sign-making station and supporters will be able to write their own testimonials on the “Say Abortion” mural.
The IE Women’s March rally will be held at Riverside City Hall from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at 3900 Main St. There are no march plans.
Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes is a scheduled speaker with representatives from D-Riverside, Planned Parenthood, the Riverside County National Organization of Women and other organizations.
Supporters will meet at the intersection of Temecula Duck Pond, Yenez and Rancho California streets at 10 a.m. for the volunteer-organized event.
They will then walk a mile to Temecula City Hall at 41000 Main St. During a rally there until 1 p.m., they’ll listen to speakers and music and share testimonials.
The organization MAEVE Burbank is hosting a march that will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of North Mariposa Street and Chandler Boulevard. Supporters can march along the Chandler Bike Path toward Buena Vista, then march back and finish at the Mariposa Street end of the path at about 11:30