MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the state Capitol in Madison Tuesday night to protest the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
If the court’s draft opinion becomes its final decision, nearly all abortions in Wisconsin would be illegal.
A crowd that began with a few hundred people about 7 p.m. soon swelled to more than 1,000, filling two city blocks as they marched from the Capitol to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library Mall, the State Journal reported.
“I’m pissed,” Susan Mockert said as she fought back tears. “I knew it was coming, the way things are right now in politics but, I’m just angry, pissed off.”
Some in the crowd held signs, including one which read “Women’s rights are human rights.”
Madison resident Allison Webber, who remembered rallying for abortion rights roughly 40 years ago, said she was shocked, disappointed and frightened by the leaked draft opinion.
“I’m worried that people are going to die because they’re always going to seek abortion somewhere,” she said.
Wisconsin’s law banning abortions passed in 1849. It was made unenforceable by Roe, but if that ruling is overturned the state law would be back in effect. That would make performing abortions in Wisconsin a crime punishable by up to six years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. There is an exception for when a mother’s life is in danger, but not for rape or incest.