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Capitol Police arrest 181 abortion rights protesters outside Senate office building

·2 min read

The U.S. Capitol Police on Thursday arrested 181 abortion rights demonstrators who protested outside of a Senate office building less than a week after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

In a Twitter thread on Thursday, Capitol Police sent out a travel advisory, warning that activists were blocking the intersection of First Street and Constitution Avenue. Authorities said they gave activists a second and third warning before arrests began.

“We arrested 181 people for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (DC Code § 22–1307) for blocking the intersection of Constitution Avenue, NE and First Street, NE,” the department said in a tweet on Thursday. “The intersection reopened at approximately 1:20 p.m.”

Protests have been held around the country since Friday, when the high court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion, which had been established by Roe nearly 50 years ago.

The eventual ruling led multiple states to implement their own abortion bans and restrictions, while some other states already had “trigger laws” that took effect when Roe was overturned.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) was also among the 181 protesters arrested by authorities on Thursday.

“When I first heard Roe was overturned, I immediately thought of who would be most harmed by this decision: a young girl who is a survivor of rape, a woman who cannot afford to travel to another state to access critical care, an expecting mother with an ectopic pregnancy whose life is in danger because she cannot have an abortion,” Chu said in a statement to The Hill.

“So, when I think of all these women — and more — the decision to join in a peaceful demonstration to make clear we will not allow the clock to be rolled back on abortion rights was easy. We are in this together and we will not back down or be silenced. I am ramping up my calls to abolish the Senate filibuster — and actively exploring every option to ensure we pass my bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which establishes a federal right to abortion care, and have it signed into law. Lives are at stake and this fight is far from over.”

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