Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Protests underway in cities from Washington to Los Angeles in wake of Supreme Court abortion decision

Similar demonstrations are planned in at least 70 locations across the country on Friday and the weekend, according to CNN’s research. Organizations like Planned Parenthood, Bans Off Our Bodies and Women’s March are among the groups organizing the events.

In the nation’s capital on Friday, one person led protesters in front of the Supreme Court in a chant of “Hands off! Hands off!” and a call-and-response of “My body! My choice!”

“It’s illegitimate. Abortion bans are illegitimate,” the woman said. “Forced motherhood is illegitimate.”

Protesters asked those in attendance to donate to abortion advocates and purchase abortion pills to distribute to others.

LIVE UPDATES ON THE SUPREME COURT RULING AND REACTION

Abortion rights opponents were also present in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. After the decision came down, a man — standing amid placards including the messages “Roe is dead” and “I am the post-Roe generation” — sprayed champagne in the air above others who were celebrating. There were several dozen abortion rights opponents at the site during the afternoon, but it appeared they had filtered out of the crowd by evening.

The demonstration has been peaceful and there have been no arrests or any reason for Capitol Police to intervene. Law enforcement is on hand because authorities are still concerned about domestic violent extremists who may see the large crowds as an opportunity for violence.

In New York’s Greenwich Village, thousands of people were marching and chanting in the streets in a peaceful demonstration. One of the chants directed the f-word at Justice Brett Kavanaugh. There were some anti-abortion activists at the march, but they were keeping a low profile and there were no confrontations seen by the CNN crew walking with the protesters.

Demonstrators in Los Angeles clogged the 110 freeway as it passed through downtown, blocking traffic. While abortion will remain legal in California, the protesters said they were showing their concern and support for women in other states.

In Atlanta, several hundred people in two different demonstrations merged and gathered in front of the Capitol. Almost all the people were protesting the decision. A CNN crew saw one counterprotester where one group began its march a few miles away.

DHS warns of potential violent extremist activity in response to abortion ruling

In Texas, a large crowd gathered in front of a federal courthouse in downtown Austin. People took to a microphone to tell stories, many of fear and frustration. Some carried signs, including one that said “Pro-life is a lie, they don’t care if we die.”

In Washington, DC, an abortion rights activist climbed to the top of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, which was subsequently shut down. Guido Reichstadter posted videos and photos of himself on social media from the top of the bridge, where he unfurled a large green banner. Green is recognized as a symbol of abortion rights.

Reichstadter also planted a flag on the bridge that read “Don’t tread on my uterus.”

He told CNN while many people in the US oppose the Supreme Court’s decision, their support is largely passive, which he says is not enough to ensure women have access to abortions across the country.

CNN’s Camila Bernal, Gary Tuchman, Whitney Wild, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Sharif Paget, Sara Smart and Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

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