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In Downtown Pittsburgh, demonstrators rally for abortion rights

Lexie Pomory holds a sign at a demonstration for abortion rights in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Julia Zenkevich
90.5 WESA
Lexie Pomory holds a sign at a demonstration for abortion rights in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Demonstrators are gathering outside the downtown City County Building this evening to protest the news of a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn the abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade.

The crowd chanted phrases including “They say no choice, we say pro-choice” and called for a “mass movement to codify abortion into law.”

Jesse Shussett, an organizer with the demonstration, said the news from the Supreme Court wasn’t surprising, considering the appointment of three conservative judges by former President Donald Trump.

“[Rules governing access to abortion are] getting more and more stringent,” Shussett said. “We knew it was going to come. Ultimately, it was just a matter of when.”

Currently Pennsylvania law says abortion is allowed up to the 24th week of pregnancy, with some situationally-specific rules. On Tuesday, both Democratic and Republican candidates for state and national offices responded according to party lines on the issue.

Part of Tuesday’s demonstration, Shussett said, was to collectively organize to “fight back against this” with women, non-binary and queer Pittsburghers.

“It’s a class struggle problem,” they said. “This affects working people more than anyone else. Those that have the money will ultimately be able to have the access that they need to be able to get an abortion. The working people that won’t be able to access that are so heavily impacted.”

The rally will include speakers before a brief march through downtown.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.