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UPDATE: Leaked Supreme Court opinion reversing Roe v. Wade sparks protests across Bay Area

Protests across Bay Area to defend Roe v. Wade 02:00

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX/CBS SF/BCN) - The day after a draft of the Supreme Court majority opinion reversing Roe v. Wade was leaked, there were protests across the Bay Area for abortion rights.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco to demonstrate for abortion rights Tuesday evening.

"We're giving our government the ability to tell individuals what choices they can and cannot make," said Sarah Pinto, a Stanford student.

Bay Area Author Carol Lynn Pearson was among the crowd.

"If this indeed goes the way that it's looking, this will be a terrible step backward for women," said Pearson.

The San Francisco rally was organized by the National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice. The group's Norma Gallegos said it is important to tell the courts they have no right to deny this basic need.

"This devastating attack on legal abortion is a call to hit the streets throughout the land," she said in the news release. "We call on all feminists, working class people, and defenders of human rights to come out to defend and expand Roe v. Wade."

The national group is planning similar rallies at federal buildings around the country.

Across the bay at the Federal Building in Oakland, another group of protestors gathered on Tuesday.

"We are standing up for women across the country. Women who are being silenced at this very moment," said Kim Tavaglione, a labor union executive director.

On the steps of San Jose's City Hall, another group marched and rallied.

"For me becoming pregnant was a choice that was so intentional and thoughtful and was so important to me at this stage in my life," said protester Kaylynn Campbell. "However if that had happened at any other point in my life where I wasn't in a place, I would want that right to choose and I want that right for anyone else as well."

Women's March has urged supporters to rally in their hometowns at the same time Tuesday at federal courthouses, federal buildings, town halls or town squares to defend abortion rights. In a statement released late Monday night, the group pledged to "show up on Tuesday -- and keep showing up in larger and larger actions in the days, weeks, and months to come."

"It might change one of the justices' minds. That's really a slim chance of doing that, but it's also to urge the Democrats to do something," said protestor Charlotte Casey.

Numerous local, state and federal officials from the Bay Area issued statements in the hours after Politico's report in support of Roe v. Wade and critical of the court's leaked draft opinion, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, who released a statement saying, "This draft opinion is an appalling attack on the rights of women across this country and if it stands, it will destroy lives and put countless women in danger."

<em>Katie Nielsen contributed to this report.</em>

<em>© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.</em>

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