Home Our Diocese Wilmington demonstrators stand in opposition to abortion each Tuesday outside local Planned...

Wilmington demonstrators stand in opposition to abortion each Tuesday outside local Planned Parenthood — Photo gallery

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People gather for the weekly pro-life vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Wilmington on Tuesday, May 3. It was the day after news was leaked indicating the U.S. Supreme Court plans to strike down Roe v. Wade, the federal law legalizing abortion. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

About a dozen abortion opponents demonstrated May 3 in front of Planned Parenthod at 7th and Shipley streets in Wilmington.

The group is present each Tuesday, the day of the week they say abortions are performed at the center.

The demonstrators pray, sing hymns, hold signs and banners and attempt to speak to people entering and exiting the building. They stand and walk along the sidewalk in front of and alongside the center.

People wearing pink vests marked “escort” — Planned Paretnhood volunteers — are positioned several feet away, keeping an eye on the demonstrators.

The group on May 3 was energized by news that the Supreme Court will strike down Roe v. Wade. the federal law that has legalized abortion the last 50 years.

The Supreme Court appears set to overturn the decision, according to a leaked initial draft of a court opinion obtained by Politico and published online the evening of May 2.

Just minutes after the leak was published, reactions were fast and furious on social media, and barricades were erected around the Supreme Court. Many people gathered at the court in protest and some, including students from The Catholic University of America, were there to pray the rosary.

The draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, said Roe “was egregiously wrong from the start” and that “Roe and Casey must be overruled.” Casey v. Planned Parenthood is the 1992 decision that affirmed Roe.

The 98-page draft, which includes a 31-page appendix of historical state abortion laws, is an opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — a case about Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with the potential to also overturn Roe.

The fact that the opinion was leaked also caused significant reaction, because this is unprecedented in the court’s recent history, especially with such a big case.

A May 3 statment by the Supreme Court verified that the draft opinion reported on “is authentic” but that it “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his own statement, emphasized the significance of the leaked document, which he said was a “singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.”

He also said that if this action was “intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.” He said he has directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.