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Photos: Abortion protest in Downtown Tucson

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Hundreds of people protested the potential end of Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the U.S., in Downtown Tucson on Tuesday night. - Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

More by Paul Ingram

Hundreds of people assembled in Downtown Tucson on Tuesday evening to push for abortion rights, a reaction to the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that strikes down Roe v. Wade—the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion legal in the U.S.

At one point numbering as many as 1,300 people, the crowd held signs, waved to cars, and encouraged truckers to honk their horns, as they filled up the plaza in front of the U.S. District Courthouse at 405 W. Congress Street. Later, the crowd blocked traffic on Congress, causing a backup to I-10. As the sun began to set, the crowd swarmed into the intersection of Congress and S. Granada Ave., where they spent several minutes before they shifted and marched east along Broadway.

The march was one of dozens that popped up across the country a day after the news magazine Politico published a draft of an opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito. The court's draft opinion would strike down  Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed federal constitutional protections for abortions rights, as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 decision that reiterated the right.

In the draft opinion, Alito argued that Roe v. Wade "was egregiously wrong from the start," Politico reported. "We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," Alito wrote in a document that was labeled as the "opinion of the court."

"It is time to heed to the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives," he wrote.

The original decision was based on a lawsuit in Texas, when a woman—Norma McCorvey, who filed her lawsuit as Jane Roe to protect herself—sued Henry Wade, the district attorney in Dallas County, challenging the state's law that made abortion illegal.

The court ruled 7-2 that abortion was protected under a fundamental right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Due Process Clause.

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