Abortion rights protesters block traffic in Washington
Washington, Jun 30 (EFE).- More than 100 abortion rights supporters mounted an act of civil disobedience here Thursday to protest the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal throughout the United States.
Sporting green bandannas, protesters marched several blocks behind a banner emblazoned with “We Won’t Back Down,” before arriving at an intersection near the Supreme Court building in Washington, where they sat down on the road.
Not all of the marchers took part in the sit-in, but they remained at the scene to cheer as their comrades were led away by police.
The US Capitol Police said they arrested 181 people, including Congresswoman Judy Chu, a California Democrat.
One of the organizers of the protest told Efe that the detainees would be released and ordered to pay a fine of $50.
“We expected around 300 people, but it’s very exciting for us,” she said when asked about the level of participation, though two young women who traveled to Washington from other states said they were disappointed to see so few people on the street.
One of them identified herself as a resident of Ohio, where last Friday’s Supreme Court ruling was followed within hours by the enactment of a law prohibiting abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy, with no exceptions.
Ohio was among the states that had already passed new abortion restrictions or outright bans – known as “trigger laws” – set to take effect automatically upon the overturning of Roe And one of the marchers on Thursday carried a sign reading: “I’m from Louisiana, a trigger state.”
The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-rights think tank, forecast that 26 Republican-controlled states will likely move to outlaw abortion now that Roe is no longer the law of the land.
Planned Parenthood says those 26 states are home to 36 million women of child-bearing age.
But pro-choice groups have launched legal challenges to some of the trigger laws and federal judges have issued injunctions to block the total abortion bans that took effect in Louisiana, Texas, and Kentucky.
The ruling last Friday in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upheld a 2018 Mississippi state law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In 1973, when the Supreme Court found in favor of Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) in her suit against the state of Texas for prohibiting her from having an abortion, the procedure was only legal in 17 of the 50 states and illegal abortions were common.
Prior to the Dobbs ruling, a Washington Post-ABC News Poll found that 54 percent of Americans wanted the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade. EFE jdg/dr