June 25 (UPI) — Activists took to the streets across the nation in the hours after the Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights guaranteed under Roe vs. Wade.
Thousands gathered outside the Supreme Court building, including anti-abortion activists expressing joy in long-sought legal victory and abortion rights activists expressing rage and despair.
“They don’t understand the gravity of this decision,” Tanya Matthews, a 26-year-old from South Carolina who opposed the repeal of Roe, told The Washington Post, as she watched anti-abortion demonstrators dancing and cracking champagne outside the courthouse. “Just because it’s not legal doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen.”
The dueling factions of demonstrators in D.C. avoided serious confrontations and by Friday night no arrests were made. In Arizona, though, police was deployed tear gas on protestors outside the State Capitol in downtown Phoenix on Friday night.
“Troopers deployed gas outside the Senate building after protesters attempted to break the glass,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement to 12 News. “The crowd then moved to the Wesley Bolin Plaza where some monuments were vandalized. Gas was deployed again to disburse the crowd.”
Protests also broke out in cities including New York, Chicago, Nashville, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and in Nashville.
“I’m legally married, and to a wonderful woman,” Paula Foster, a 58-year-old social worker protesting at Legislative Plaza in Nashville against the Supreme Court’s decision, told the Post. “I’m afraid that I will no longer be able to have that protection.”
Foster added that she also feared for her daughters.
“I’m frightened for them and the world they’re growing up in,” she said.
The highest court in the land had decided in 1973 that even though the Constitution doesn’t mention abortion, it grants a broad right to obtain one, but its Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision on Friday overturned that ruling.
The Supreme Court’s decision makes the issue of abortion one for each state to decide.
As a result, at least 13 states, mainly in the South and Midwest, with “trigger bans,” can ban abortion quickly or 30 days after the decision, and 26 states are likely to ban abortion.
More progressive states such as California and New York have laws protecting abortion.