Thousands of women across the US are marching to protest abortion bans
In what has been dubbed a war on American women, the state of Alabama passed one of the nation's most restrictive bans on abortion in recent years earlier this month. The law, which proposes to ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy - with no exceptions for rape and incest - follows the spread of "heartbeat" bills across the country - which prohibits termination once a foetal heartbeat is detected.
And just last week, Missouri lawmakers voted to make nearly all abortions illegal after eight weeks of pregnancy. These laws, which in Alabama's case could see doctors who perform the procedure go to prison for 99 years, seek to undermine the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, which largely granted American women the right to end their pregnancies.
The backlash on social media was swift, with thousands of women taking to Twitter to speak about their personal experiences, using the hashtags #ShoutYourAbortion, and #YouKnowMe. And now, they are taking to the streets to protest the attack on their bodily autonomy.
Yesterday, thousands of people marched as part of the #StopTheBans protest. Over 500 marches were occurred at statehouses, town squares and courthouses across the US, as well as in Canada, and Puerto Rico.
The demonstrations were organised by several abortion rights groups and civil rights organisations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), the Women's March, and Planned Parenthood.
"Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access," wrote the #StopTheBans movement on their website. "We will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women. Politicians shouldn't be making decisions best left to women, their families, and their doctors."
The marches were documented on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram:
These anti-abortion bills are likely to be challenged legally, a move which will force a ruling by the Supreme Court.