Bay Area abortion rights supporters dismayed over challenge to Roe v. Wade

Crowds of abortion rights supporters rallied in various locations around the Bay Area Wednesday.

They denounced the Mississippi law and expressed dismay that Roe v. Wade is being challenged.

"If we want freedom, we need to be able to be in charge of our lives," said speaker Kristina Lee as she addressed the people gathered in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco.

"Movements that happen in San Francisco tend to spread across the entire country," Eric Curry said California has to lead the fight to protect Roe v. Wade.

"Legalized abortion as we know it in this country may be overturned," said rally organizer Nancy Kato with Mobilization for Reproductive Justice.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for and against a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, less restrictive than the Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks.

"It's arbitrary. Besides, we still have the right to a legalized abortion. It shouldn't have a cut-off date," said Kato.

Nearby at Market and Powell streets, supporters of abortion rights also held a speak-out.

One witness shared with KTVU cell phone video he took.

He said a man who was a passerby punched someone attending the rally after yelling, "You're killing babies."

"It won't deter us in our efforts. We still have to talk to people about what's at stake," said Michelle Schudel, a speaker at the event.  

SEE ALSO: Bay Area activists protest as Supreme Court justices weigh abortion ban

Back at the Federal Building, speaker Kristina Lee said women from communities of color are disproportionately impacted by laws that restrict access to abortion, forcing them to seek illegal, unsafe abortions.

She said she supports abortion rights even though her biological mother, a teenager at the time,  gave her up for adoption. "These are choices that individuals need to be able to make for themselves, not choices that people who have no idea what's going on in people's lives, to make for them."  

Organizers said moving forward, they plan to hold more events such as these rallies.

The next day of action is scheduled for January 22, to coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.