PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland joined hundreds of cities around the nation for "Bans Off Our Bodies" rallies in favor of reproductive rights. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of downtown Portland Saturday afternoon to demand safe and legal access to abortion nationwide.
The Chapman Square rally was part of a national day of action organized by Planned Parenthood and other groups. Similar rallies took place in communities across the state and nation.
"We are saying no, don't touch our bodies — our decision, our choice and we want to put a ban on anybody thinking they have a say that they can do that," said Christine, who attended the rally.
The rallies are a direct response to a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting the court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Healthcare and political leaders were also on hand Saturday for a news conference before the rally. Senator Jeff Merkley and Oregon Governor Kate Brown vowed to fight for abortion access.
"We have a constitution designed around the idea of liberty and freedom," said Senator Merkley, "and this court is determined to tear that down and we're determined to say 'no way.'"
"No matter what the Supreme Court does, this fight will continue," said Gov. Brown. "It's incredibly important that Oregonians who believe in making sure that women and people have the right to this essential healthcare vote, get out your ballot make sure you vote."
Many demonstrators like Michael Smith carrying signs and cheering at the rally agreed.
"Half of America will have their civil rights rolled back," he said, "I think every person has a chance to make a difference and they can make a difference by voting."