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Thousands of Seattle abortion-rights supporters participate in rally

The message from those gathered at Cal Anderson Park was clear.

SEATTLE — Thousands of people participated in a Seattle rally and march on Saturday in support of abortion rights.

The message from those gathered at Cal Anderson Park was clear.

"Keep our women's autonomy, fight for our rights like we've been doing forever," said Jennifer Vinson, who attended Saturday’s rally.

Washington’s Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates organized the abortion-rights rally, one of many around the country after a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court hinted Roe v. Wade may be overturned.

"We're looking at as many as 26 states across the country moving quickly to ban abortion and that would affect as many as 36 million American women and people who can become pregnant," said Courtney Normand, the Washington State Director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would be up to states to decide whether abortion is legal. Officials with the state’s Planned Parenthood acknowledged Washington will still keep its abortion laws in place. They do anticipate a surge of women from out-of-state seeking support due to laws in their local communities.

"My heart breaks for every single person who is forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term,” said Rachel Herbst, who spoke during the rally. “I know how it feels to have your options taken away from you, to be forced into a lifelong commitment that you're not ready for."

KING 5 also spoke with Esther Ripplinger of Human Life of Washington, an anti-abortion organization. She believes there are plenty of resources for a woman to carry out a pregnancy.

"To have a lot of support, and to be empowered, that they can go to school, have their dreams and have their child and have assurance that even in an open adoption that they can feel good about themselves and that they chose their offspring's highest good," said Ripplinger.

The country is still waiting for the official decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, but until then those gathering in Seattle Saturday said they will continue to fight for what they believe in.

"Bans off our bodies," said Normand. “We're not going anywhere; we've been fighting for generations and we will continue to do so for generations to come."

After the Cal Anderson rally, many of the protestors did march throughout downtown making their way to Pike Place Market, for a "sit-in" demonstration. There was a large police presence monitoring the rally and march, but things appeared to be peaceful.