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  1. ITV Report

Thousands of women protest anti-abortion laws in America

Thousands of women have taken to streets across America to protest against anti-abortion laws which have been passed in several states.

The #StopTheBans protests - demonstrating against new abortion bans recently passed in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Mississippi - took place in 50 states.

Abortion in the US is quickly becoming a newly polarising issue 46 years after a landmark ruling guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion.

Hundreds of pro-choice activists packed the stairs outside the supreme court, hoping judges inside do not reverse the ruling.

Benny Del Castillo, who had an abortion aged 20, told ITV News the reason she joined protesters in Washington was to show "people who seek abortions have done nothing wrong".

Benny Del Castillo joined protesters in Washington. Credit: ITV News

She said: "They're trying to basically demonise us as if I had done some horrendous thing in my life and so part of going there is to show that we're here and that we exist."

She added: "Part of sharing my story is to at least debunk that myth - I did nothing wrong."

On the other side of the debate are pro-life supporters who hope the court will overturn the 1976 Roe v. Wade ruling.

"We want to live in an America where abortion is not the law of the land of the supreme court," said anti-abortion lawyer Ed Martin.

He added: "We want to reverse Roe v Wade and we want as few abortions as possible every day."

Ed Martin is one of many pro-life supporters who want Roe v Wade to be reversed. Credit: ITV News

But thousands of women across the US believe removing the right to abortion is an infringement on their "reproductive freedom".

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigeig joined protesters in Washington because he agrees with them.

He said: "One of the themes of my campaign is freedom and there's a lot more to freedom than the kinds of things conservatives talk about.

"Part of that is making sure that women have the freedom to make decisions about their own bodies, especially when their health or life is at stake."