Washington, D.C. — The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a 5 – 4 decision Friday morning, which caused an eruption amongst the hundreds of protesters gathered outside the building in Washington, D.C.
Roe v. Wade gave women the right to abortion for the last fifty years, and this new ruling by the Supreme Court has left the legalization of abortion up to the states. At least half the states are expected to ban abortion rights, according to AP, with a variety in time lengths on when these bans will take effect.
A mix of reactions erupted from the crowd after the news of the decision was made. Some people yelled for joy, others exclaimed shouts of rage and disbelief, and a few were left in silence.
Within a few hours, most of the anti-abortion protesters left the scene and abortion-rights protesters quickly filled the streets outside of the Supreme Court. Law enforcement responded within minutes to the Supreme Court in preparation for safe protest.
Street closures included “First Street, NE between Constitution Avenue, NE and Independence Avenue, SE
East Capitol Street, NE between First and 2nd Streets
2nd Street between East Capitol and C Streets, NE” according to a tweet by Alert DC.
Families with children of all ages were among the crowd of protesters, including some expectant mothers.
“I am disappointed to be an American today,” peaceful protestor Natalie McCormick said.
Protesters chanted “this decision must not stand” while signs throughout the crowd read “Abortion = healthcare”, “My body my choice” and “Catholics support abortion access!”
“Very few people know that, according to Pew Research, 68% of Catholics in the United States don’t want to see Roe overturned,” Kate Hoeting said, an employee of Catholics For Choice.
Hoeting said she planned to protest “until the cows came home.”
President Joe Biden addressed the country during a speech shortly after Roe V. Wade was overturned.
“State laws banning abortion are automatically taken effect today, jeopardizing the health of millions of women, some without exception,” Biden said. “This fall we must elect more senators and representatives who will codify a woman’s right to choose into federal law once again.”
Kelly Reed, another woman who attended the protest, said this was not her first time advocating for women’s rights.
“I’ve done this before back in the eighties,” Reed said. “I shouldn’t have to keep doing this and I shouldn’t have to keep using this stupid sign.”
Reed emphasized the importance of voting, adding that the only choice people have “is to vote blue because there is nothing else to do.”
Protests throughout Washington, D.C. and other parts of the country began as late as 6 p.m. on Friday night and are expected to continue throughout the month.
Law enforcement throughout Washington, D.C. will also be heavy until at least Tuesday of next week according to an article released by Business Insider.