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Police erect higher security fencing at U.S. Supreme Court as protest crowds grow

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., joins abortion rights activists Tuesday outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the leak of a draft majority opinion suggesting the court would overturn Roe vs. Wade later this year. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 5 (UPI) -- Protesters rallied again outside the U.S. Supreme Court late on Wednesday and early Thursday to express concern about the court's leaked opinion this week that appears to be ready to strike against legalized abortion in the United States.

Abortion rights demonstrators first started showing up outside the court in Washington, D.C., late on Monday after the draft opinion was leaked to the press. As they continued to gather Tuesday and Wednesday, security officials began installing higher fences at the building to head off any potential trouble.

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Anti-abortion protesters have also been showing up at the site, and there have been some minor clashes. But authorities installed the fencing to control the situation before it has a chance to escalate.

"It's sad to see it come to this point, even though we knew it was coming," a Virginia woman said outside the Supreme Court building, according to NBC News. "It was devastating to see."

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President Joe Biden, who has promised to sign legislation codifying Roe vs. Wade into federal law if it can get through Congress, leveled more criticism at the leaked opinion on Wednesday night.

"What are the next things that are going to be attacked?" he asked while speaking about the economy at the White House. "Because this [pro-Donald Trump] crowd is really the most extreme political organization that's existed in American history."

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that if the Supreme Court finalizes the opinion that was leaked, Biden's administration will work to ensure women still have access to abortion.

Demonstrators gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday after the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling, which legalizes abortion nationwide. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Some experts have said that women of color and those in low-income communities will be the most affected if Roe vs. Wade is struck down.

"We know that 75% of those seeking abortions are living at or below 200% of the poverty level, and the majority of patients seeking abortions identify as Black, Hispanic and AAPI," Psaki said at a press briefing.

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Psaki also cited the Dire Need Grant awards that provide funding to expand access to emergency contraception and family planning services as a possible way the federal government could help ensure access to abortion.

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"What we're looking at is how to ensure we're expanding access, how to ensure we are taking a look at the enormous impact on a specific portion of the population. And this is an across-government effort," she said.

The shock waves from the leaked Supreme Court opinion is also being felt outside the United States.

Canada's minister of families, children and development said on Wednesday that American women would be welcome in Canada if they need to have the procedure.

"If they ... come here and need access, certainly that's a service that would be provided," the minister, Karina Gould, said according to the CBC.

Gould's office added that Americans seeking healthcare in Canada, which has a universal, single-payer system, could pay for the service out-of-pocket or with their own private insurance.

As Biden and congressional Democrats search for a way to protect Roe vs. Wade, some U.S. companies are stepping in to voice support for women's freedom to choose.

Retail giant Amazon has said it will offer up to $4,000 per year to help pay for a worker's expenses if they need to travel to another state seeking an abortion.

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Other companies that have so far reacted with support include Citigroup, Lyft, Uber, Yelp, Match Group, Salesforce, Levi Strauss and Bumble.

This week in Washington

Lisa Monaco, deputy attorney general, speaks during the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Police Executives Forum on Friday. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

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