LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A planned rally in downtown Los Angeles to support abortion rights has gained a new sense of urgency with the news that the U.S. Supreme Court might be poised to overturn the landmark abortion-rights decision Roe v. Wade.
The Women's March Foundation had already planned its May 14 ``Bans Off Our Bodies Rally'' outside City Hall before news broke Monday that Politico obtained what it called a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that indicates the court privately voted to strike down Roe v. Wade.
Women will gather outside City Hall, at 200 N. Spring St., at 10 a.m. that day, according to organizers. Further details about the march, and whether it would include a speaking program, were not immediately released.
Alito's opinion states, in part, ```Roe' was egregiously wrong from the start.''
``We hold that `Roe' and `Casey' must be overruled,'' the document states, according to Politico, referring to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey case. ``It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives.''
Politico noted that the document is still in draft form, and Supreme Court decisions can change based on the drafts of rulings. It notes the ruling will not be final until it is published, likely within the next two months.
Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated that point Tuesday, saying the draft ``does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.''
But the document states the ruling was supported by four other Republican-appointed justices -- Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
If the decision does become final, it would strike down one of the most debated Supreme Court rulings of the past century. Despite some vocal opposition to Roe v. Wade, the ruling establishing women's access to abortion is supported by a majority of Americans. A CNN poll conducted by SSRS in January found that just 30% of Americans supported the Supreme Court completely overturning Roe v. Wade, while 69% opposed it.
CNN reported that the poll's finding was consistent with other recent polls and historical trends, and that since the cable news channel began polling in 1989, public support for completely overturning Roe has never gone past 36%.
Roe v. Wade guarantees abortion rights throughout the United States until a fetus is viable, typically between 22 and 24 weeks. Overturning the decision would strip away federal protection of abortion rights, and leave it up to individual states to set abortion policy.
Famously liberal California is unlikely to take steps to ban or limit access to abortion, and discussions have already been under way about using the state as a safe haven for women across the country to pursue reproductive health care.
Last month, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion aimed at preparing the city for a possible influx of people from other states seeking abortions in California.
``A woman's right to an abortion is crucial to our fight for equality in America,'' Martinez said. ``We cannot ask women to risk their lives by revoking their right to a safe medical procedure. I stand with women, California stands with women, and today, our city has reaffirmed that Los Angeles stands with and for women.''
The motion, if passed by the City Council, would direct the chief legislative analyst to coordinate the city's response with the Los Angeles County departments of Health Services and Public Health. The CLA would identify how the city could respond to a possible increase in demand for abortions in Los Angeles in the event that other areas of the country ban abortions or enact more strict measures against them.
Martinez's office cited a study from the Guttmacher Institute that said California is likely to experience a 3,000% increase -- from 46,000 to 1.4 million -- of women of reproductive age whose closest abortion provider is California.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision stems from the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. In violation of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Mississippi passed a law in 2018 prohibiting abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
Mississippi's abortion law followed a strategy by anti-abortion groups to ban abortion after they claim fetuses experience pain, according to The Washington Post. However, most research says fetuses do not experience pain until 29 or 30 weeks into the pregnancy, the newspaper reported.
More information about the May 14 rally can be found at https://bit.ly/39sVdEF.