"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."Miriam Kagen
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.
Earlier this month, the Women's Health Protection Act, a Democrat-led bill that would effectively codify a right to an abortion, failed to pass with a vote of 49-51.
President Joe Biden released a statement that said "this failure to act comes at a time when women's constitutional rights are under unprecedented attack – and it runs counter to the will of the majority of American people."
Meanwhile in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is backing a new spending proposal to help pay for abortions for women who can't afford them. The plan is meant to prepare the state for a potential surge of people from other states seeking reproductive care if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.