Rowe v. Wade anniversary attracts protesters on both sides of abortion debate to downtown St. Petersburg

On Saturday, pro-choice supporters and anti-abortion advocates held separate rallies in downtown St. Petersburg on the 49th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. 

"Abortion should be legal. It should be accessible," Progress Florida Reproductive Rights Program Director Amy Weintraub said.

Activists on both sides took to the streets to make their voices heard.

"Life is life and we want to honor the sanctity of every life," Florida's 13th Congressional District candidate Amanda Makki said.

Both rallies fall on the 49th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, which is the landmark Supreme Court ruling making access to safe and legal abortion a constitutional right.

"The fact that Roe v. Wade could be gutted or overturned in the coming months, it will have an immediate and negative impact on thousands and thousands of Americans," Weintraub stated.


How overturning Roe v. Wade could impact women's rights in Florida

A major challenge to reproductive rights protected in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision sits before the U.S. Supreme Court and what they decide could mean sweeping changes in Florida.

RELATED: How overturning Roe v. Wade could impact women's rights in Florida

Currently, the Supreme Court is reviewing laws in Texas and Mississippi that challenge the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision. If the court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade entirely, the decision on whether to keep abortion legal would fall to the states.

"We're just very glad that we have an opportunity after 30 years before the Supreme Court and we're just hoping the justices make the right decision and are on the side of life," Makki commented.

A bill similar to Mississippi's law is currently working its way through the Florida legislature. If passed, it would ban abortions after 15 weeks. Wednesday, it passed its first House committee.

Meanwhile, Saturday anti-abortion advocates marched with signs in hand through downtown St. Pete ending in front of city hall where they held a special rally.

"We're actually quite excited that so many people who are so committed to life would take their Saturday morning in the rain to show the community how much we care," anti-abortion advocate Lisa Stueckemann said.

RELATED: DeSantis signals support for ban on abortions after 15 weeks in Florida

Just a few streets over there were honks of support for pro-choice advocates. Supporters held a makeshift rally at the corner of Central Avenue and 3rd Street in Downtown St. Petersburg with signs reading "Keep Abortion Legal".

"Everyone has a right to have an abortion. Everyone has a right to have safe abortion access," State Rep. Michele Rayner said.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to come down with a ruling on both laws in Mississippi and in Texas sometime in June.