"Bans off our bodies," that was the rallying cry at more than 300 protests across the country on Saturday.
In San Diego, nearly 5,000 people filled the area in front of the Hall of Justice downtown. The crowd was so large that it spilled over into the Federal Court Plaza across the street.
The rally, which started at 10 a.m., was organized by Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Women's March San Diego, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest and San Diego NOW.
The rally was held in reaction to the recent leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court which would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that enshrined a woman’s right to choose an abortion as a constitutional right.
San Diego resident Miriam Kagen said she’s afraid the country is about to go back to what she called the “dark ages.”
"I think it’s disgusting and disgraceful and shameful that we even have to do this for a woman’s right to choose. I think it’s my body. It’s up to me what I do with it."
The peaceful group of marchers walked through downtown carrying signs and shouting. Among them was Dr. Mariana Salerno who said she was there for more than just the cause of protecting the right to an abortion.
"It’s really human rights. It’s about equality, it’s about women being treated as citizens and just humans really."
Dr. Mariana Salerno
A small group of about 50 anti-abortion activists also held a counter protest.
Matthew Bowler is an award-winning journalist from San Diego. Bowler comes from a long line of San Diego journalists. Both his father and grandfather worked as journalists covering San Diego. He is also a third generation San Diego State University graduate, where he studied art with a specialty in painting and printmaking. Bowler moved to the South of France after graduating from SDSU. While there he participated in many art exhibitions. The newspaper “La Marseillaise” called his work “les oeuvres impossible” or “the impossible works.” After his year in Provence, Bowler returned to San Diego and began to work as a freelance photographer for newspapers and magazines. Some years later, he discovered his passion for reporting the news, for getting at the truth, for impacting lives. Bowler is privileged to have received many San Diego Press Club Awards along with two Emmy's.