Abortion rights activists across the country are sending a clear message after the landmark Roe v. Wade: They’re not backing down.
From Minnesota to California to Florida, more than a dozen protests are planned Monday against the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down 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 that indicate they could ban or set extreme limits on abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports the right to abortion.
Demonstrations for and against the ruling have been mostly peaceful, but some arrests have been reported.
In Los Angeles, police intervened Saturday as protesters tried to march onto US Highway 101. Officers pushed protesters away and beat 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 of the incident also shows. Sweetin got up and continued to protest, 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 LAPD policy and procedure,” the agency said in a statement.
Protests grow against the Supreme Court in the US
In New York, at least 20 people have been detained on pending charges, police said.
In Greenville, South Carolina, at least six people were arrested at a rally on Saturday, authorities said. The demonstration included people protesting and supporting the Supreme Court ruling.
In Washington, two people were arrested Saturday after the US Supreme Court charged them with “throwing paint on the fence,” the 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 later in the day after a fence around House and Senate Square was torn down, the agency said.
In Lynchburg, Virginia, police are investigating vandalism of a pregnancy center. The words, “If abortion isn’t safe, it’s not safe,” were spray-painted near the entrance to the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, police photos show. Security camera footage shows “four masked individuals committing the acts,” police said in a statement.
The facility did not immediately respond to GLM’s request for comment. On Friday, the center shared its support for the Supreme Court’s decision on Facebook, writing, “I rejoice with an overwhelmed heart of gratitude for the life-affirming decisions made today.”
States ban abortion while 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 different levels of access.
Nine states now have outright bans on abortions, with several exceptions or none at all. They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin. In Ohio, a six-week ban went into effect following the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday. Last year a six-week ban went into effect in Texas.
States where abortion bans are expected to go into effect in the coming days and weeks include Wyoming, Mississippi, Tennessee and Idaho.
In Arizona, abortion providers began canceling appointments immediately after Friday’s ruling. The state Senate Republican Caucus issued a memorandum demanding that the state immediately enforce a pre-Roe v. Wade that prohibits most abortions unless the procedure is necessary to save a mother’s life.
Meanwhile, some Democratic governors are trying to protect abortion access.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers said he would fight “with all the power we have” after the Republican-controlled state legislature refused to repeal the 1849 state law banning abortion, which goes back into effect after the Supreme Court ruling.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday that protects non-California residents who seek reproductive health care in the state. It also protects anyone who performs, assists, or receives an abortion in the state from any potential civil action arising out of the state.
Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota issued an executive order Saturday providing similar protections. “Our administration is doing everything it can to protect the right of people to make their own health care decisions,” Walz said in a statement.
In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee promised to create a “sanctuary state” for reproductive choice for people across the country through an upcoming executive order, which will direct state police not to comply with extradition efforts by other states seeking penalize those who travel to Washington for abortions. Inslee did not specify when the decree will be issued or when it will take effect.
Goodbye to Roe vs. Wade: the right to abortion is repealed in the US
The legal battles following Roe vs. Wade have begun
Shortly after Utah banned most abortions, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit alleging that the newly enacted law violates civil liberties guaranteed in the state constitution, including the right to determine family composition and equal protection.
In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood said the law will have an unequal impact on women compared to men and violates the right to physical integrity, involuntary servitude, as well as the right to privacy.
The lawsuit names the governor and attorney general among the defendants.
Performing an abortion in Utah is now a second-degree felony in almost all cases, according to the lawsuit. Utah law allows abortion if there is danger to the health of the mother, diagnosable health conditions uniformly detected in the fetus, or when the mother’s pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
The lawsuit names the governor and attorney general of Utah among the defendants.
“When the Act went into effect, the PPAU (Planned Parenthood Association of Utah) and its staff were forced to stop performing abortions in Utah beyond the few permitted by the Act,” the lawsuit says. “If relief is granted in this case, PPAU health centers would resume providing abortions that would not qualify for any of the Act’s exceptions.”
Gov. Spencer Cox’s office did not immediately respond to GLM’s request Saturday for comment on the lawsuit. Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office told GLM he had no comment on the lawsuit.