NEW YORK, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Abortion rights supporters in New York City (NYC) joined a nationwide protest Tuesday afternoon against a recent wave of moves to legalize abortion ban and restrictions in several states of the country.
Thousands of protestors rallied at the Foley Square in downtown Manhattan, right in front of a federal courthouse, waving various banners that read "Abortion is a human right," "Free abortion on demand forever" and "Your body, your power."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who recently announced his 2020 presidential run, joined the rally with his poet and activist wife Chirlane McCray.
"We know a majority in this country believes in the (women's) right to choose," said the mayor. "It is a small group of right-wing extremists who are trying to ignore that American majority, or trying to undermine your rights ... but we are not going back, are we?"
Hosted by NYC for Abortion Rights and National Women's Liberation, the Stop The Bans rally in New York echoes hundreds of other similar protests across the United States, appealing for abortion rights for every woman in the country.
"I'm here today because abortion rights are part of women's reproductive health and are essential parts of my rights," said 32-year-old Alex Lacost, a data scientist who grew up in France and lives in New York, representing the beliefs of most young female protestors at the rally.
Last week, the U.S. state of Alabama passed a near-total abortion ban, which would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in almost all cases, including rape and incest.
This was seen as the latest challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Some other states, such as Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi, also adopted similar bans recently and are counting on an eventual overturn of the Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
"I was out protesting for Roe v. Wade in the 1970s. And here we are again," said 67-year-old Robin Strauss, a psychotherapist. "That's just rolling back on women's rights to control their own body and make their own choices around their own healthcare."
In her opinion, gender equality and justice can never be realized "in a system that puts profits ahead of people, ahead of healthcare, ahead of education, and ahead of safety," she said.
Seth Galinsky, who labeled himself a socialist, has been involved in demonstrations for women's right to choose since his early 20s. He believes this is not simply a women's issue.
"There's no way the working class here can advance in the fight for our interests if half our class has a second class status," said the 62-year-old. "It's in the interest of not just women, but men."