Thousands expected at abortion rights rallies in California and across U.S.

Joining demonstrators across the country, thousands of women’s rights activists are expected to march in downtown Los Angeles and elsewhere around the state Saturday as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

The L.A. rally organized by the Women’s March Foundation was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and will feature appearances from Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sen. Alex Padilla, Reps. Karen Bass and Maxine Waters.

The rally is one of hundreds scheduled to take place across the country, including in Long Beach, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Palos Verdes and Santa Ana, as well as in San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Austin, Texas.

In L.A., Donna Troy Wangler was among the few women gathered at the City Hall rally who wasn’t toting a sign proclaiming her views. But the Inland Empire high school teacher had poignant story to share about her daughter Lauren, who was born with Down’s syndrome and was six years old when she died.

“Some people seem to think it’s a snap for moms like to have an abortion,’ Wangler said “I decided to keep my child—and that was a traumatic load to carry. But gosh, the love love we shared changed my life forever.”

Holding up her cell phone, she gushed, “Here’s a photo of Lauren—Look how proud of herself she is!” “So, I’m here today,” added Wangler, 53, “ because I want the world to know that abortion is a woman’s choice. No one else’s.”

The demonstrations come after Politico reported May 2 that a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. indicated a majority of the court would vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, reversing its recognition of women’s constitutional right to access safe and legal abortions.

The Supreme Court has confirmed the authenticity of the draft but said that the decision is not yet final. At least 26 states are expected to ban abortion if the precedent falls.

The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, could issue a final opinion in late June or early July.

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