Pro-Abortion Protesters Block Street Outside Supreme Court as Opinions, Orders Expected

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Pro-abortion protesters descended on Washington on June 13 to block streets and make their opposition to the court’s looming decision on Roe v. Wade known.

“Whose courts? Our courts!” some of the protesters chanted, as they held a sign saying “Our Home Is On Fire.”

“We are not your incubator. [expletive] the court and the legislature,” another chant went.

Video footage and photographs showed the protesters blocking at least street outside the court, which is situated near the U.S. Capitol.

Protesters, led by the group Shut Down DC, are riled up by the prospect that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that concluded access to abortion is a constitutional right. The decision limited how states can regulate abortion.

A draft ruling leaked in May suggested the court will rule in favor of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson, in effect rolling back the 1973 decision.

It remains unclear when the finalized ruling in the case will be issued, but the court said it would be releasing opinions starting at 10 a.m. on Monday.

The court never announces which cases for which it will make public opinions prior to making the opinions public.

The court is also releasing orders on Monday morning.

Ahead of the protests, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said the agency was increasing its police presence, as well as activating officers trained in handling civil disturbances.

“In addition, we are working closely with our law enforcement, government, and community partners to ensure that all of these events are peaceful and our neighborhoods are safe,” he said at a press briefing with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat.

Contee warned attendees not to carry firearms and to leave enforcement of laws to the police.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves and Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI Washington Field Office, meanwhile, said that “we will not tolerate violence, destruction, interference with government functions, or trespassing on government property.”

“We are committed to working closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to stop any individuals who intend to commit violence or criminal activity under the guise of carrying out a demonstration,” they added in a joint statement on June 10.

Protesters at a meeting on Sunday urged people not to oppose the use of violence, making clear they would not condemn violent actions.

“If you want to do property destruction, do it in secret. If you’re doing it publicly, you’re probably an infiltrator,” activist Nadine Bloch said. “There’s no condemnation of bringing the system down.”

Jack Phillips and Jackson Elliott contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber

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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.





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