FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Pro-choice demonstrators took to the streets of Fort Lauderdale and the rest of the nation as the Supreme Court appears ready to overturn five decades of reproductive protections.
7News cameras captured protesters outside the Federal Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale, early Saturday afternoon.
At issue is the possibility that the nation’s highest court will overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision protecting a woman’s right to have an abortion.
“I witnessed it in 1973. I had a high school girlfriend who had to go to the Miami Dadeland Mall to get an illegal abortion,” said demonstrator Leslie Scheffield.
The widespread protests come days after Politico obtained and published a Supreme Court draft that would overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday responded to critics of the opinion for the first time.
“We are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don’t like,” he wrote.
Thomas added that the Supreme Court “can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want.”
Chris Scalia, the son of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, said the issue will ultimately be decided by the voters, since the ruling would not ban abortion outright, but instead leave it up to the states.
“This issue belongs in the hands of the people, not the justices, so if this is the end result, I think my father obviously would have been very pleased with it,” said Scalia. “It means that people actually get to vote on the issue, which is how it should be.”
Widespread protests in opposition to the draft continued this weekend.
In Washington, D.C., demonstrators turned out in the pouring rain on Saturday following peaceful protests that began earlier this week. Police surrounded the Supreme Court Building with fencing.
Protesters also gathered in Chicago in rainy conditions.
“My body, my choice,” said a demonstrator.
Demonstrators in Fort Lauderdale said they hope to send a signal back to the Supreme Court.
“Women control their own bodies. It’s nobody’s business, and this is serious. This is life and death,” said Scheffield.
Many say both the draft and the leak itself reflect a court and a judicial process that’s becoming more partisan.
“Kind of dangerous for the structure of the United States, ’cause everything is so politicized now,” a man told a Fox News reporter. “I thought the court was one thing we could definitely trust in and be sure that everything was kind of behind closed doors, and they were making the decisions that need to be made based on the Constitution and not based on potential influence from the outside.”
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts admitted the leak is authentic but called it preliminary. The court is set to issue its officials ruling by the end of June or early July.
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