WASHINGTON — The city was under snow emergency, but a crowd of men and women came out to a vigil to defend women’s reproductive rights on Jan. 22, the 32nd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court, which legalized abortion.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), told the World, “It’s very important for us to be together and to stand up in the shadow of the inaugural parade to say that we’re not going to allow this administration to push women’s rights backward.”

Many here worried about democracy being trampled during the second Bush administration, but weren’t about to back off from the fight. “It’s scary that the older Supreme Court justices could be replaced with all these radical right people,” Gina, a D.C. college student, said. “Taking away choice would be taking away a basic right. It would be like taking away women’s right to vote.”

“The next four years are absolutely not a lost battle!” Sandy Reigh, who had traveled from Burlington, Vt., said. “We’ll keep speaking out like this. We will have an effect by getting involved. People need to participate in these kinds of events, help organize others.”

“We have a real opportunity,” Gandy said, “because George Bush is going to keep on pushing the envelope and people whose eyes are not open yet to what he’s doing will see what he’s doing and they will join us. In the meanwhile, we have to keep up the fight, keep pointing out the information and telling people the truth.”