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Friday, October 7, 2022
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Roe v. Wade Protests Rock the Nation


Students at Harvard University protesting to defend abortion rights. | Image by Erin Clark, The Boston Globe

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Not long after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a near 50-year-old legal precedent protecting abortion, protests broke out in several cities across the country, with many more expected throughout the weekend. 

The initial reactions of demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court building ranged from outpourings of grief to elation, depending on individuals’ personal beliefs.

Eventually, throngs of pro-abortion protesters assembled outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday. The demonstration lasted until around 11 p.m. and dispersed with little to no incident, per NBC Washington.

However, reportedly not every protest necessarily remained peaceful last night.

Tear gas was used to disperse pro-abortion rioters at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves told CNN that rioters “repeatedly pounded on the glass doors of the [Arizona] State Senate Building,” prompting police to release tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Arizona state lawmaker Justin Wilmeth tweeted last night, “As I heard it, some either banged on Senate windows or broke them, and then DPS launched smoke bombs to disperse the crowds. Pure chaos for a bit.”

In New York City, where abortion is not expected to become illegal, pro-abortion protesters demonstrated in Washington Square Park, amassing by the thousands.

NYC police officers arrested nearly two dozen of them after off-shoots of the demonstration attempted to block traffic, per NBC New York.

In Dallas, hundreds gathered at Civic Park in the evening after marching through downtown. The Earle Cabell Federal Building, like other potential sites of protest around the country, had a security fence erected around it in the afternoon in anticipation of demonstrators, according to Fox 4.

There were no reports of arrests in Dallas. The protest dissolved without incident during the night.

Texas is one of 13 states with abortion trigger laws on their books. That is, in the event that Roe v. Wade was ever overturned, as it was yesterday, new state laws would immediately go into effect that place further limits on or ban abortion.

States with trigger laws include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.

In the case of Texas, abortion will be made illegal 30 days after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a judgment, with the exception being if the expecting mother’s life is in danger.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court published its opinion, not its judgment. It will be a few weeks before the judgment is released, at which point Texas’s trigger law will begin a 30-day countdown to enactment.

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