Supreme Court abortion ruling touches off second day of raucous protests nationwide

Supreme Court abortion ruling touches off second day of raucous protests nationwide
Clashes between abortion supporters and foes are drawing police attention.

WASHINGTON — There appeared to be no let-up Saturday as Americans angered by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade hit the streets for a second day of mass protests.

From Washington, D.C., where the conservatives on the court Friday swept aside a half-century of precedent to do away with the law, all the way to the West Coast, there were angry, raucous protests against a ruling that almost immediately made access to abortions all-but-impossible in half the country.

Those protests were, at times, met with counter-protests by anti-abortion activists elated by the ruling and determined to stop abortions from happening everywhere in the United States.

Outside the Supreme Court building, a small-but-growing group of protesters chanting “Women’s rights are human rights” confronted a preacher who had waded into the mix and appeared to be trying to drown them out.

“Listen to me, our religious convictions inform everything we do,” the Rev. Jonathan Tremaine Thomas said.

“Why are you trying to impose them on us?” 18-year-old Juliette Dueffert shouted back. “If you have a uterus, you can talk.”

“You’re clearly trying to talk over us,” another woman quickly chimed-in.

Soon anti-abortion protesters arrived chanting “Abortion is racist” and “Abortion is oppression” and were met with loud booing as police officers stood by ready to move in if necessary.

Watching from her wheelchair was 52-year-old Dana Bolles, an ardent abortion rights supporter who was born without arms or legs.

“A lot of the pro-lifers would say, ‘Well you would have been aborted’,” Bolles said. “I mean, so be it. If that was the decision, then that’s what it was.”

The momentous struggle over abortion spilled over into the first-ever Unity March, a rally that was happening in Washington at the same time to protest against rising anti-Asian violence in the United States.

Many of those demonstrators also condemned the recent Supreme Court ruling.

“We’re fighting for abortion,” said 17-year-old Anh Nguyen, a Houston-based Asian activist and Yale freshman. “We’re fighting for the reduction of anti-Asian violence, protection for our communities.”

“We need to protect women’s rights,” chimed-in John Kim, 27, of Washington, who came specifically to protest the mistreatment of trans and non-binary Asian youth. “If you’re not taking care of the people who are existing and living in our country today…how are you going to take care of all these lives for these unborn babies?”

In Mississippi, anti-abortion protesters descended on the state’s last clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Center.

There, shouting matches erupted between them and members of the “Pink House Defenders,” who are the volunteers that for years have been escorting women in need of abortions through the gauntlet of protesters that have been picketing the clinic for years.

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