Thousands took to the streets again Saturday, some in celebration and others in outrage, one day after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S.
Demonstrators returned outside the Supreme Court in Washington. Others carried signs and chanted in cities big and small across the country, including Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York City.
In the sweltering 90-degree heat, people chanted and held signs outside the high court, where a barricade was erected and officers were staged. Activists splattered red paint on the sidewalk to look like blood, leading to two arrests for alleged destruction of property. “Stop legislating my body,” one sign read.
One protester in D.C. climbed to the top of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, forcing it to remain shuttered for a second day, WJLA reported.
Others gathered to celebrate the ruling in smaller numbers.
From Philadelphia to Georgia, protesters voice outrage
“My mom worked for Planned Parenthood in the 70s right out of college — so it’s blowing my mind that, like, 40 years later, I’m doing the same thing. Same protest. Same signs,” Megan Schanbacher, a 38-year-old attorney from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
She attended a rally in Philadelphia Saturday, and said the Supreme Court has been a driving factor for her in recent elections.
More than 300 of residents, local officials and activists filled College Square on Saturday in Athens, Georgia, about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. Speakers highlighted the Supreme Court decision had serious implications for the most marginalized groups in Georgia. They also pointed out the decision would not stop abortions but only make it a more dangerous path for many.
“Our ancestors shed their blood, sweat, and tears to fight for the rights that we have today,” Addison Clapp, a rally organizer, said. “We’re here because we don’t just support Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade is the floor, it’s the bare minimum.”
In South Carolina, about 1,500 people filled the courtyard at One City Plaza in Greenville, chanting and rallying against the Supreme Court ruling
“My body!” a woman yelled through a speakerphone.
“My choice!” the crowd chanted in response.
Greenville police said several people were arrested during the event. Police said one person was arrested after the event’s permit expired and the person was warned multiple times about blocking traffic. Five others were taken into custody on charges including disorderly conduct, interfering with police and resisting arrest, police said.
Nearly 100 abortion rights protesters addressed Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the Supreme Court in a march to the state capitol building. The state has had a trigger law in place since 2019 that will outlaw nearly all abortions 30 days after the Supreme Court ruling. The state’s Republican leaders have said they don’t want to wait that long.
“Laws off me, Gov. Lee,” Jace Wilder, the march’s organizer chanted.
March attendee Lauren Oliver, 22, said after the news broke yesterday she felt couldn’t just sit back: “This is something that affects everyone.”
Anti-abortion groups gather to celebrate the end of Roe v. Wade
In smaller numbers, anti-abortion groups countered the larger demonstrations on Saturday. Many said the ruling was just the beginning in the effort to end abortion nationwide.
“Now the battle will continue state by state, and we won’t stop until every innocent human life is protected,” said Kim Schwartz, a spokesperson for Texas Right to Life. The group organized a celebratory rally in Austin.
Police stepped between the two groups as tensions rose in Indianapolis on Saturday, where over a thousand abortion-rights protesters gathered and more than 200 hundred anti-abortion advocates assembled.
“It’s important that we stand and speak peacefully and we’re thankful for the conservative things that are taking place in the nation,” said Tammy Delgado, 44, of Indianapolis.
In Kentucky, dozens of people turned out for a “LifeFest: Live, Love, Louisville” event to celebrate the end of Roe.
Peggy Boone, who sits on the board of Right to Life of Louisville, said she was delighted the decision of abortion rights now rests with the states.
“We’re just very happy it’s going back to the states and it’s illegal here in Kentucky,” Boone said Saturday. “We’re been working on this for 50 years.”
Across the country, “Life is Louder” rallies were planned in at least 32 states at state capitol buildings on Saturday, according to the organization Students for Life Action’s website.
Friday protests lead to some arrests, tear gas outside Arizona Capitol
Protests on Friday in the hours after the historic ruling mostly stayed peaceful, but in scattered incidents, demonstrators clashed with police and arrests were made.
At one march in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, about 100 miles northeast of Des Moines, at least two protesters were struck by a car, though no serious injuries were immediately reported, police said.
Video of the incident posted to social media shows a truck appearing to drive slowly through a group of protesters in the street as others chased after it, then fleeing. Lyz Lenz, a local journalist, told The Associated Press that she saw the driver swerve around another car and hit the two women on a crosswalk at about 7:15 p.m., driving over one woman’s foot.
In Los Angeles, marchers walked onto the 110 freeway Friday evening, and were cleared out by police after an unlawful assembly was declared, but nobody was arrested, the LAPD said in a statement. Two people were arrested downtown later, with police reporting that demonstrators threw fireworks and “makeshift weapons” at officers, four of whom were injured.
In what some Arizona GOP lawmakers are likening to an “insurrection” attempt, police sprayed tear gas at protesters after some began banging against the doors of the Arizona Senate building. Lawmakers, who were still in session, were evacuated. The crowd eventually scattered and no one was arrested.
Contributing: The Des Moines Register; The Arizona Republic; The Providence Journal; The Indianapolis Star; The Austin American-Statesman; The Bucks County Courier Times; The Athens Banner-Herald; Greenville News; The Tennessean; The Associated Press