Supporters of abortion rights marched through Philadelphia to protest a leaked draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Protesters gathered around 5 p.m. Tuesday near Philadelphia’s Federal Courthouse on 601 Market Street and began marching through Center City. The protest followed a nationwide call from the organizers behind the Women’s March asking supporters across the country to gather at their town halls, town squares and federal courthouses in defense of abortion rights.
Another protest in support of abortion rights began at 6 p.m. along the north side of City Hall on 1400 JFK Boulevard.
Students at the University of Pennsylvania also marched in support of abortion rights around 7 p.m. Tuesday. The march began at the compass on Penn’s Locust Walk.
"There are cases of sexual assault and in those situations, you know we are forcing women to give birth and that is incredibly dangerous," Raegan Davis, one of the protesters in Center City, told NBC10.
Another protester, Majorie Bicknell, told NBC10 she isn't a "fan of abortion" but was a fan of a woman's right to choose.
"My choice may be one thing, another woman's choice is another but it's her choice," Bicknell said. "And I fought for that back in the 1970's and that's why I'm here today. Taking this away from women is saying that women are less than human."
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Late Monday night, Politico obtained a leaked draft majority opinion suggesting that the Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade.
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft Tuesday, while noting that he has ordered an investigation into the leak.
A decision to overrule Roe would likely lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states and could have huge ramifications for this year's elections. But it's unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter — opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process.
In a statement on Tuesday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said any decision from the Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, "will not have an immediate impact on Pennsylvania or its current laws."
"Should this opinion become final, abortion access in Pennsylvania will remain legal and safe as long as I am governor," Wolf wrote. "I will continue to veto any legislation that threatens access to abortion and women's health care."