Protests rage across the US after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade essentially ending Constitutional abortion rights nationwide

Abortion-rights protesters continued to voice their fury and anguish nationwide Saturday following the seismic ruling by the US Supreme Court to eliminate the federal constitutional right to an abortion.

As states started enacting abortion bans and some clinics stopped offering the procedure, Thousands of abortion-rights advocates took to the streets Friday in cities nationwide to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

More demonstrations are expected Saturday and Sunday in cities big and small, including in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, California and many others.

“It’s a betrayal against women … it’s a giant step backwards … It opens the door for other rights and freedoms to be threatened,” said Natasha Mitchell, 41, of Denver. “I’m fortunate that I live in a state that respects the reproductive rights of women but I fear for women who don’t.”

The landmark 1973 decision was overturned Friday after SCOTUS, in a 6-3 ruling powered by its conservative majority, upheld a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

The vote was 5-4 to overturn Roe, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts writing separately to say he would have upheld the Mississippi law without taking the additional step of erasing the Roe precedent altogether.

The ruling restored the ability of states to ban abortion. Twenty-six states are either certain or considered likely to ban abortion. 

Abortion became illegal in 13 U.S. states as soon as Roe was overturned, thanks to specially-devised ‘trigger laws’ designed to automatically outlaw terminations in the event of a ruling to overturn Roe.

Five other states banned terminations after historic laws superseded by the 1973 Roe ruling automatically came back into place on Friday.

The ruling, which many Democrats claim leaves American women with ‘fewer rights than their grandmothers,’ prompted outcry across the nation.

Pro-choice activists were tear gassed in clashes at Arizona Capitol building and dozens were arrested in New York City and Los Angeles.  

The Arizona Capitol building was besieged by pro-abortion protesters Friday night, forcing riot cops to fire tear gas to disperse the angry crowd in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned. 

Lawmakers working to complete their 2022 session said they were effectively held-hostage inside, and eventually huddled to a safe location, as SWAT team operatives worked to disperse the gathered crowds.  

KPHO-TV reported the officers opened fire when several anti-abortion protesters started banging on glass doors of the building.

Arizona is one of eight states where abortion clinics stopped performing procedures after the decision was released Friday.

Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey insists a bill he previously passed, banning abortions after 15 weeks, still stands. But Ducey’s assertion can only be settled in the state’s courts – and some hardline Republicans are already suggesting the original ban on all terminations should remain in place.

The incident sent Senate lawmakers into the basement of the building for about 20 minutes, said Democratic Sen. Martin Quezada. Stinging tear gas wafted through the Capitol afterward, forcing the Senate to move its proceedings to a hearing room instead of the Senate chamber.

Authorities said there were no injuries or arrests. 

In Phoenix, law enforcement used tear gas late Friday to disperse a crowd of abortion-rights supporters after they “repeatedly pounded on the glass doors of the State Senate Building,” Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves told CNN.

In Eugene, Oregon, 10 people were arrested on Friday night during a demonstration dubbed a “Night of Rage” in response to the ruling, according to a release from Eugene police. Those arrested ranged in age from 18 to 29 years old, according to the release. Nine people were charged with disorderly conduct, one of whom was also charged with resisting arrest and another with harassment, police said.

In New York, at least 25 people were arrested on Friday after around 17,000 descended on Washington Square Park before marching through the streets to Grand Central Station, Times Square, and Bryant Park.

They also stopped outside News Corp headquarters – home to Fox News and the The New York Post – and yelled ‘Burn it down! Burn it down! F*** Tucker Carlson!’ Vandals also sprayed ‘F*** Fox’ on the side of the building. 

Similar arrests were made in Los Angeles, where police reported protesters throwing bottles of water and rocks at officers during demonstrations. 

ABC7 reported that there were protesters throwing what appeared to be fireworks at police. They also spotted a man briefly being dragged away from the demonstrations. 

At one point, authorities declared an unlawful assembly just after 9 p.m., meaning protesters were forced to leave or be put under arrest, with officers not allowing reporters to witness what happened, according to the LA Times

Earlier in the afternoon, a crowd had marched onto the northbound 110 Freeway and temporarily shut down traffic. 

Abortion providers in Arizona and Arkansas have already begun halting abortion services.

Family Planning Associates, Planned Parenthood Arizona and Tucson Choices in Arizona have at least temporarily suspended abortion services while the legal ramifications of the ruling are assessed, according to posts on their websites.

Dr. DeShawn Taylor, who operates Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix, said her clinic canceled about 20 abortion appointments that were initially scheduled for Friday through next week.

“We’re committed to keeping our doors open if we can, to be able to provide abortion care, once it’s safe to do so. I believe we’ll be in some dark times for a while, hopefully for not too long, but I do believe the pendulum will swing back.”

On Friday, the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus issued a memo stating the state must immediately enforce the pre-Roe law, which bans most abortions unless the procedure is necessary to save the life of a mother.

In Arkansas, the Little Rock Planned Parenthood canceled between 60 and 100 appointments for people who had abortion procedures scheduled or were in the process of scheduling, Dr. Janet Cathey said told CNN.

“There were patients who said they were in their car and on their way and asked us, ‘It will be OK, won’t it?’ And we had to tell them, ‘No, we have to follow the law,” Cathey told CNN.

“Most patients were desperate or panicked,” she added.

Cathey said the patients were given contact information for the Planned Parenthood office in Overland Park, Kansas, adding that her office has “made arrangements for some to be transferred there.”

Hundreds of angry protesters assembled outside the Supreme Court building in D.C. Friday just moments after SCOTUS ruled to overturn Roe.

Cops, many outfitted in riot gear, were called in to protect the barricaded federal building as protesters chanted: ‘F*** Clarence Thomas!’ Thomas was among the justices who voted to strike down the ruling. 

Several members of Congress, including Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined the rally to address the crowd in wake of what AOC called an ‘illegitimate decision.’

‘In almost half of this country, states are ready to ban abortion,’ said Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representing Minnesota. ‘Outright ban abortion. That means if you are sick, if you are raped, there is incest, you are forced to have that baby or die.’ 

A group was also spotted burning the American flag in the capital while others gathered outside Supreme Court Justice Thomas’ home. 

Mia Khatcherian, who lives in New York, said she felt guilty knowing that abortion is legal in her home state, while those living in other states will be subjected to anti-abortion laws.

“I want women in other states to see the swell of support — that the sheer number (of demonstrators) sends a message,” said Khatcherian, 32, the daughter of a Filipina mother and Armenian father. “Knowing that women of color are going to bear the brunt of this decision” made sitting home, raging on social media, an impossibility, she added.

Black women accounted for the highest percentage of abortions by women seeking the procedure in the US in 2019, receiving 38.4% of all abortions performed, according to data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also had the highest abortion rate, 23.8 abortions per 1,000 women, the data shows. Hispanic women sought 21% of all abortions in 2019, the data indicates.

Further, Black women who are pregnant or who have just given birth in the US are three to four times likelier to die than their White counterparts, per the CDC.

The abortion ban is already in effect in at least six states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

And as of Saturday, 13 states have trigger laws banning abortions in light of the ruling. Those states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.

In some instances, the laws go into effect immediately, while in other states they will become effective after a certain time period or by certification of state officials.

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