The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federally recognized right to an abortion this week with a ruling in a case challenging a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi that upheld the Mississippi measure and undid Roe v. Wade. Protesters subsequently turned out to the Virginia area where Justice Clarence Thomas lives.
“As usual, the Thomases’ street in Fairfax Station was closed off by law enforcement, and @OurRightsDC led a furious protest at the entrance to the neighborhood,” an advocacy organization called Ruth Sent Us said Saturday alongside footage that appeared to be from the previous day. “No peace for the Justices. They don’t like our peaceful protests? They can move,” the organization said in another post on Twitter. Ruth Sent Us was involved with planning Friday night demonstrations near Clarence Thomas’s residence, and they’re planning on additional protests near the homes of other Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, including Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts did not support the decision overturning Roe — but he did support leaving the challenged Mississippi measure in place.
The Washington Post provided their own recap of what unfolded Friday. “On Friday night, a small band of demonstrators banged drums and chanted at the entrance to Justice Clarence Thomas’s Fairfax Station neighborhood, which was guarded by a pair of Fairfax County police cruisers,” the publication said. Protests Friday also took place in Washington, D.C., New York City, the Los Angeles area — and, among an array of other locales, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where a man in a pick-up truck hit a group that participated in a local demonstration for abortion rights. The driver went around multiple cars in front of him at a red light before running into the group, including one woman whose ankle was run over and was later hospitalized. Protests continued Saturday outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., and looked set to keep going elsewhere as well.
“The driver was screaming and a woman was in the car with him begging him to stop,” according to details shared by journalist Lyz Lenz, who was on the scene of the Cedar Rapids incident. Those hit were crossing the street while carrying signage associated with their participation in the pro-abortion rights protest. Now that the Supreme Court has undone Roe, state officials can restrict or allow abortion with dramatically fewer limits on their policies. It could take some time for exact outlines of the new map of abortion availability in the U.S. to become clear after the court’s decision. Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota, and Missouri are all among states now banning abortions with rare exceptions, such as to save the life of a pregnant person, and that list was set to expand. More than a dozen states previously established so-called “trigger” bans that would become active in the event Roe was overturned.
There’s a possibility that states which restrict abortion in the new post-Roe world may target residents who seek reproductive healthcare elsewhere, but the Biden administration says they’ll seek to stop such a thing. “If a woman lives in a state that restricts abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent her from traveling from her home to a state that allows it,” Biden’s administration said. “If any state or local official tries to interfere with women exercising this basic right, the Biden Administration will fight that deeply un-American attack.” There’s already been a proposal put forward by a Republican state legislator in Missouri to “allow private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion or helps a pregnant person obtain one, even if the procedure takes place outside Missouri,” as Bloomberg summarizes, although that measure doesn’t seem to have been made law — so far.
Check out footage of the protest near Thomas’s house below:
As usual, the Thomases’ street in Fairfax Station was closed off by law enforcement, and @OurRightsDC led a furious protest at the entrance to the neighborhood. See our pinned tweet and join a protest tonight! #GinniThomasIsATraitor #SCOTUS6 pic.twitter.com/jWAIMGQpx6
— Ruth Sent Us 🪧 (@RuthSentUs) June 25, 2022