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Thousands rally for abortion rights in D.C., nationwide

Abortion rights impact key races in North Carolina
Abortion rights impacting key races in North Carolina 02:08

WASHINGTON – Thousands of abortion rights proponents turned out in Washington, D.C. Saturday, and across the U.S., to protest the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"I'm out here today because I had an abortion, and I was able to do it safely, and I really believe that all women should have access, just like how I was able to have access safely, securely," said Gabrielle Jennings, one of the many attendees at Saturday's Women's Wave Day March in Washington, D.C.

The D.C. protest kicked off with a rally and then a march from Folger Park to the U.S. Capitol grounds. It was one of several such nationwide rallies organized by the Women's March as part of a "Women's Wave" day of action.

Women's March abortion rights Washington, D.C.
People march to the U.S. Capitol Building during a Women's March rally on Oct. 8, 2022 in Washington, D.C.  Getty Images

Protesters carried signs which read, "We are never coming back," "Roe is settled law," and "The hardest decision a woman can make isn't yours."

Two women wore costumes from the television series "The Handmaid's Tale."

David Walsh, who wore a pro-Roe shirt, told CBS News he was there to support his wife and two daughters.

"I think it's important that, as an adult, and especially an adult male, to show my family that I support their interests, and I believe in what they believe in too," Walsh said. "But I think it's important for them to see me be an activist for what I believe in, whether it's this, or something that I personally feel good about. They need to see me being an activist because that's how change is made."

JaPera Stith, who took a three-hour bus ride with a friend to D.C., said she was also at the event to show support for women's rights.

"Women's rights, it's about their bodies," Stith said. "So they should have the choice to do what they want with their bodies, and I don't like how men have so much say in that decision when they can't get pregnant."

Women's March abortion rights rally Washington, D.C.
The Women's March rally on Oct. 8, 2022 in Washington, D.C.  CBS News

There were a small group of counter-protesters at the D.C. event. CBS News witnessed one woman being taken into custody by police, but no specific details were immediately confirmed.

The event also comes about a month before the midterm elections, with the abortion issue expected to be high on the minds of voters.

Davis Reginald, who attended the march with the healthcare union SEIU 1199, said that along with women's rights, he was also marching for voting rights.

"Voting rights is important because my ancestors fought for us to have the right to vote, and I feel that we should exercise that right because a lot of people sacrificed a lot of things for that right," Reginald said.

Meanwhile, Zohreh Khayam, originally from Iran, wanted to draw attention to the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Amini died after being taken into custody by Iran's colloquially known "morality police" last month in Tehran for violating the nation's strict Islamic dress code. The death has sparked weeks of anti-government protests both in Iran and worldwide.

Khayam is asking for solidarity.

"They are not exposed to the possibility of making decisions for their bodies, for the way they look, for the way they dress," Khayam said. "And one of my hopes for coming today is for the American women to present support to the Iranian people by going to the American government and asking them to interfere in terms of what is happening in the world, and in terms of the treatment of women in Iran."

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