Pro-choice activists and reproductive rights advocates have made their voices heard through mass protests in response to Friday’s Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationthat effectively brought down the 1973s Roe v. Wade ruling that gave Americans a constitutional right to abortion.
“It’s treason against women,” says Denver’s Natasha Mitchell told CNN during a protest against abortion rights in Colorado, a state that recently codified abortion rights in the law. “I am fortunate to live in a state that respects women’s reproductive rights, but I fear women who do not.”
The area around the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, has been packed with crowds of protesters — as well as many smaller counter-protests — since the Supreme Court decision. Protesters supporting reproductive rights have also taken effect nationwide in states such as New York† Missouri† North Carolina† Oklahomaand Michigan†
Lawmakers also joined the protesters. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared Friday with abortion rights advocates at the Union Square protest in New York City. Ocasio-Cortez shared her own experience of sexual assault and called on President Joe Biden to create abortion clinics on federal land.
“I think one of the things that we also know is that there are also actions available to President Biden that he can mobilize,” Ocasio-Cortez said. told public. “I’ll start with the tiniest of baby steps: Now open abortion clinics in federal states in red states.”
On Friday night, protests began to intensify in some areas, with much of the aggression linked to the response from law enforcement. In Arizona, law enforcement officers were… captured on video use tear gas to clean up a estimated 7,000 protesters gathered outside the State Capitol in Phoenix. A police officer running for the state senate in Rhode Island was… accused of assault after allegedly punching his campaign opponent at an abortion rights rally near the state house (the officer so-called that his opponent had become physical against him during the protest; she denied the allegation).
A woman in Iowa was also hospitalized after a man drove his truck toward a procession of abortion rights protesters crossing the street in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Several eyewitnesses said the driver grew “impatience” and began to maneuver around other cars before hitting protesters; the incident is now the subject of an investigation by local authorities.
“I literally had to come down here today because I have nowhere to put my emotion, my fear, my anger and my sadness,” Jennifer Jonassen told the Los Angeles Times as she joined protesters outside LA City Hall for the city’s second day of protest on Saturday.
On Saturday, the crowd in front of the Supreme Court hadn’t budged, as thousands of abortion rights advocates had kept singing and waving signs around the building security parameter.
“I can’t believe that’s what God intended, not the God I serve,” Mary Tretola-Johnson told the Washington Post. ‘All I could think was ‘Not in America’. It was overwhelming.”
Protests continued in cities like Columbus, Ohioand Green Bay, Wisconsin on Sunday. In New York City, Sunday’s Pride Parade was… kicked off by a group of protesters representing Planned Parenthood, who were cheered by onlookers.
Anti-abortion activists have also gathered in the 48 hours since the court’s ruling when they saw the fall of Roe v. Wade† Randall Terry, founder of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, compared to be dobbs to rule on the Allied invasion of Normandy. Terry was one of the few counterprotesters outside the Supreme Court.
Since the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision, at least eight states have already passed nearly complete abortion laws through special statutes known as “trigger laws,” essentially statutes restricting access to abortion that are currently are activated or ‘triggered’ roe was overthrown. More states — especially those with Republican-controlled legislatures — are expected to expand abortion restrictions soon.
But it is not only the right of access to abortion that is under attack. Reproductive rights advocates and educators fear that the next potential targets for right-wing politicians and activists could be access to contraception, assisted reproduction such as IVF treatment, and even broader health care restrictions. Part of their concern stems from a concomitant dobbs Opinion written by Judge Clarence Thomas alleging that the cases establishing the right to same-sex marriage and access to contraception have been decided on shaky legal reasoning, and that the Court “has a duty to ‘correct the mistake'”.
On Sunday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, whose state was one of several states with a trigger law, told CBS’s Face the nation That South Dakota would enforce a ban on telemedicine abortions, which would prevent access to online prescription abortion medications. US Attorney General Merrick Garland has previously… declared the Department of Justice would protect a person’s right to abortion as well as their access to abortion pills. That means a legal challenge to access to medication, one that could have national repercussions, is imminent.
Julia Feldman-DeCoudreaux, a sex educator at an Oakland school, told cafemadrid that access to quality sex education can now also suffer even more, leaving young people vulnerable. “If that happens,” she said, “we’re in for a catastrophic situation.”
Although the fall of roe has been a crushing blow to abortion rights supporters, the weekend’s protests are a clear signal that many across the country have also found renewed strength to continue fighting for reproductive rights.
“We have to be proactive” said Lura Van Sweden at an abortion meeting at the Michigan Capitol. Van Sweden, who championed women’s rights in the 1960s, vowed to continue the fight. “Do not give up. That’s what they want us to give up. I do not give up.”