Protests spread across the US after the Supreme Court overturns the constitutional right to abortion | CNN (2023)

Protests spread across the US after the Supreme Court overturns the constitutional right to abortion | CNN (1)

She was fed up with anti-abortion protesters, so she broadcast them on TikTok

06:25 - Source: CNN


Abortion rights activists across the country are sending a clear message after the overturn of Roe v. Wade: They’re not backing down.

From Minnesota to California to Florida, more than a dozen protests are planned Monday to denounce the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the nearly 50-year-old federal constitutional right to have an abortion.

The fallout was swift: At least 10 states have effectively banned abortion since Friday’s ruling. And 26 states have laws indicating they could outlaw or set extreme limits on abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

Activists on both sides of the debate rallied in jubilation or devastation.

"We're supposed to be Americans, and this isn't very American of us to strip us of our freedoms and treat us like second class citizens," said Amanda Conticello, of Jensen Beach, who joins about a couple hundred people in the "We Dissent" protest on the Roosevelt Bridge on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Stuart. The United States Supreme Court reversed its landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion, on Friday, June 24, 2022, leaving responsibility for the procedure's legality to the states.Tcn Roe Protest 1 Crystal Vander Weit/TCPalm/USA Today Network gallery In pictures: Americans react after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

“Old men, stop telling me what to do with my body,” read one protester’s sign in Washington, DC.

“People’s bodies are more regulated than guns,” read another protester’s sign in Atlanta.

Outside the Supreme Court, an elated Valentina Aaron held up a sign with an image of a fetus. “Forceps off my body,” the sign read.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” Aaron said about the historic ruling. “If I was a baby in a womb, I would want someone to stand up for me.”

But nearby, abortion rights supporter Joseph Little held a sign saying, “Forced birth is enslavement.”

“Making people give birth is enslavement,” Little told CNN. “When you tell people that they no longer have a voice in their own personal matters, that’s enslavement. It’s oppression. And the Bible clearly says that we need to correct oppression.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26: Anti-Abortion protesters gather in the wake of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturned the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erased a federal right to an abortion. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images Live updates: The latest on the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

The demonstrations for and against the ruling have been largely peaceful, but a few arrests have been reported.

In Los Angeles, police intervened Saturday when protesters tried to march onto the US 101 freeway. Officers pushed protesters and struck at least one person with batons, video from the scene shows.

“Full House” actress Jodi Sweetin was pushed to the ground by an officer, video from the incident also shows. Sweetin got up and kept protesting, leading a chant of “No justice, no peace,” according to photojournalist and witness Michael Ade. Los Angeles police are aware of the video and the “force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure,” the agency said in a statement.

In New York, at least 20 people were taken into custody with charges pending, police said.

In Greenville, South Carolina, at least six people were arrested at a rally Saturday, officials said. The rally included people protesting and supporting the Supreme Court ruling.

An abortion rights activist creates a handmade poster following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade outside of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Sarah Silbiger for CNN 'We are not surprised': Women of color say the courts have never served their communities

In Washington, DC, two people were arrested Saturday after they were accused of “throwing paint over the fence by the US Supreme Court,” US Capitol Police tweeted.

In Phoenix, about 1,200 people attended an abortion rights rally Saturday, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said. Four people were arrested late in the day after a fence around the House and Senate Plaza was torn down, the agency said.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, police are investigating the vandalism at a pregnancy center. The words, “If abortion ain’t safe you ain’t safe” were spray-painted near the entrance of the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, photos from police show. Security camera footage shows “four masked individuals committing the acts,” police said in a news release.

The facility did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. On Friday, the center shared its support of the Supreme Court decision on Facebook, writing: “Rejoicing with an overwhelmed heart of gratitude for the life affirming decisions that were made today.”

States ban abortion as others move to protect access

The Supreme Court ruling allowed states to immediately begin setting their own abortion policy, leaving people across the country with varying levels of access.

Abortion rights demonstrators outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., US, on Friday, June 24, 2022. A deeply divided Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and wiped out the constitutional right to abortion, issuing a historic ruling likely to render the procedure largely illegal in half the country. Samuel Corum/Bloomberg/Getty Images How the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade could affect the fertility industry

Some states now have outright bans on abortions, with varying exceptions or none at all. They include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.

States with abortion bans that are expected to take effect in the coming days and weeks include Wyoming, Mississippi, Tennessee and Idaho.

In Arizona, abortion providers started canceling appointments immediately after Friday’s ruling. The state Senate Republican Caucus issued a memo demanding the state immediately enforce a pre-Roe law that bans most abortions unless the procedure is necessary to save the life of a mother.

Meanwhile, some Democratic governors are trying to protect access to abortion.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers said he’d fight “with every power we have” after his Republican-controlled state legislature declined to repeal the state’s 1849 law banning abortion, which is taking effect again following the Supreme Court ruling.

Anti-abortion demonstrators and abortion rights supporters protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court the day after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs v Women's Health Organization abortion case, overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2022. Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters America's chaotic new reality over abortion takes shape

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Friday protecting non-California residents seeking reproductive health care in the state. It also protects anyone performing, assisting or receiving an abortion in the state from any potential civil action originating outside the state.

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota issued an executive order Saturday providing similar protections. “Our administration is doing everything we can to protect individuals’ right to make their own health care decisions,” Walz said in a statement.

In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee promised to create a “sanctuary state” for reproductive choice for people across the country via an upcoming executive order. The order will direct state police not to comply with extradition efforts from other states seeking to penalize those who travel to Washington to get an abortion. Inslee did not specify when the executive order will be issued or when it will take effect.

The post-Roe legal battles have started

Shortly after Utah banned most abortions, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit claiming the newly enacted law violates civil liberties guaranteed in the state’s constitution – including the right to determine family composition and equal protection.

In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood said the law will have a disparate impact on women as opposed to men and violates the right to bodily integrity, involuntary servitude, as well as the right to privacy.

Adobe Stock Women: In the face of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, tell us how you're doing

The suit names the governor and the attorney general among the defendants.

A judge on Monday evening granted a restraining order for 14 days, blocking the ban and allowing abortion services to resume.

Gov. Spencer Cox’s office did not immediately respond to CNN’s request Saturday for comment on the lawsuit nor the restraining order. Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office told CNN it had no comment on the lawsuit.

Under the ban, performing an abortion in Utah would be a second-degree felony in almost all cases, according to the lawsuit. Utah’s law allows for abortion if the mother’s health is in danger, there are uniformly diagnosable health conditions detected in the fetus or when the mother’s pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

“When the Act took effect, PPAU (Plaintiff Planned Parenthood Association of Utah) and its staff were forced to immediately stop performing abortions in Utah beyond those few that are permitted by the Act,” the lawsuit reads. “If relief is granted in this case, PPAU’s health centers would resume providing abortions that would not qualify for any of the Act’s exceptions.”

After the restraining order was granted, the organization said the decision was a win but “only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight. Planned Parenthood will always stand alongside our patients and providers – no matter what.”

CNN’s Raja Razek, Donie O’Sullivan, Aya Elamroussi, Jalen Beckford, Keith Allen, Gregory Krieg, Sonnet Swire, Hannah Sarisohn, Sharif Paget, Claudia Dominguez, Sara Smart, Kate Conerly and Andy Rose contributed to this report.

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