Supporters of abortion rights announced plans Friday for 1,000 demonstrations in 150 cities on Nov. 12, beginning with a "thousand points of light" sunrise service near President Bush's vacation home and highlighted by a massive rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
"This is the most ambitious human rights activity every taken in the United States," Eleanor Smeal, president of the Fund for the Feminist Majority, told a news conference.
"Never before have so many groups come and converged on so many points yet also had a massive demonstration, which we think will hit record proportions in Washington itself," Smeal said.
Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated for legal abortion in Washington on April 9, and organizers of the "Mobilize for Women's Lives" protests this month said they expected even more interest across the country because of the July Supreme Court decision allowing states to restrict abortion.
Kate Michelman, executive director of the National Abortion Rights Action League, which organized the coalition of groups staging the protests, said the events would kick off a campaign to elect in 1990 state legislators who favor a woman's right to choose an abortion.
At the same time, she said, the demonstrations are intended to apply pressure to the federal government and particularly to protest Bush's recent veto of a measure to help poor women obtain abortions in cases of incest or rape.
The protests will begin near Bush's vacation home in Kennebunkport, Me., with a "thousand points of light" sunrise service at a Unitarian church, will feature protesters holding candles and will end with a similar event that night in San Francisco.
In between will be the Washington rally as well as smaller events in sites reaching from Kodiak, Alaska, to Sarasota, Fla.
The demonstrations will involve more than 100 national groups and 400 college campus committees.