LOS ANGELES - The nation is bracing for a Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortions nationwide in 1973.
"It's a huge deal, Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey because these are cases that are not just a half-century old, but they're cases that people have relied on. They truly are part of the fabric of our society," said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Marymount University Law School.
Levinson believes a ruling could come as early as Friday.
"I think there's a possibility that we get a big decision from the Supreme Court that could either overturn Roe v. Wade or significantly gut Roe v. Wade. We believe it could possibly come tomorrow [Friday] because the court added a decision day, it's at the end of the term, and it's probably going to come within a week. If it's not tomorrow, I think it will be by July 1," said Levinson.
In May, a leaked draft opinion suggested the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case. A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half of U.S. states, but it is unknown if the draft represented the final word from the Court.
"Can the Chief Justice, for instance, get somebody to join him so that the controlling opinion is narrower? It would be a controlling opinion where the Supreme Court upholds Mississippi's ban which is the 15-week ban on abortions but says there is still a constitutionally protected right to obtain an abortion," said Levinson.
As the nation anticipates the ruling, an abortion rights protest was held in downtown Los Angeles Thursday.
Organizers with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights held the march and protest with volunteers. The group is hoping the Supreme Court upholds Roe v. Wade.
"When abortion is illegal, women die and we refuse to go back to the days of back-alley abortions. We know what it means for young women and girls to not have the ability and the right to control their own bodies and their own futures," said Luna Hernandez, an organizer for Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights LA.
Hernandez believes protesting is a way to make sure their voices are heard in this decision.
"This Supreme Court decision is going to come out any day now. It could come out tomorrow [Friday]. It could come out Monday so what we do or don't do actually matters. The way we see actually stopping this [overturning Roe v. Wade] is through mass nonviolent protests in the streets now and if it is overturned, it does have to be a turning point in society where people don't just come out and vent their frustrations but actually come out and demand they overturn the overturning of Roe v. Wade," said Hernandez.
Samantha, one of the protesters, echoed the sentiments.
"Women deserve basic rights. It's not something that you can just look past every day. You can't just live every day like this. There are people who have to suffer for this. Maybe not us because we live in Los Angeles and have access to all kinds of things, but there are people who have no other choice and they have nowhere to go," said Samantha.
Lawmakers are ramping up efforts to make California a sanctuary state for abortions.
Wynette Sills, the Director for Californians for Life, believes overturning Roe v. Wade is the right decision.
"Very few women are excited about exercising their so-called right to abort their child. For many women, it's a decision made under duress when they've exhausted what they believe are their other opportunities and options available to them. We recognize both the importance of helping women and certainly the science and humanity of the child whose life is lost in every single so-called successful abortion. We are here calling upon people of goodwill across the complete political spectrum to use this opportunity to very seriously look at the underlying issues that may motivate a woman to consider abortion and trying to solve those challenges, those circumstances rather than her resorting to ending the life of her own child. That's a pretty desperate act that we think is harmful to women and certainly not empowering," said Sills.
Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights is planning to hold a noon protest on the day the decision is announced in Los Angeles.