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State abortion bans spark protests at Supreme Court and nationwide

Protesters oppose strict abortion laws

More than 400 rallies were held coast-to-coast Tuesday in opposition to new restrictions on abortion. Hundreds turned out in support of reproductive rights at demonstrations organized by Planned Parenthood, including entire families.

"These are my kids," Angela Torres told CBS News. "I want them to live in a place where they have equal access to healthcare that's evidence based and not legislative based."

Another demonstrator, Rafael Woldeab, said he was protesting because it all came down to autonomy. "I shouldn't have control over your body, you shouldn't have control over mine," Woldeab said.

The protests, which occurred across all 50 states and even on the steps of the Supreme Court, brought out some faces of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Rallies Across U.S. Protest New Restrictive Abortion Laws
Protesters hold signs at a march against recently passed abortion ban bills at the Georgia State Capitol building on May 21, 2019. Elijah Nouvelage / Getty

Last week, Alabama enacted the nation's strictest abortion law, making performing abortions a felony at any stage of pregnancy with almost no exceptions.

Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have also passed laws that prohibit abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected — about six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant. None of the laws has taken effect, and all are expected to be blocked while legal challenges work their way through the courts.

Some lawmakers hope two new conservative justices nominated by President Trump will provide the votes for the Supreme Court to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

A CBS News poll finds 67% of Americans want the Supreme Court to keep Roe v. Wade as is, however. Politics, not gender, seem more likely to influence views on abortion.

Eight states so far this year have passed laws severely limiting abortion rights. In Missouri, the state's republican governor says he'll sign a similar bill this week. The same goes for Louisiana, but there the issue is bipartisan. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards was elected on an anti-abortion rights platform.

"When I ran for governor, I said I was pro-life and so that's something that's consistent," Edwards said last week during a press conference.

Ed O'Keefe contributed reporting. 

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