Several Democratic members of Congress were arrested after protesting for abortion rights at the Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon.
The U.S. Capitol Police tweeted that "demonstrators" blocked a street, prompting officers to issue "three standard warnings" before making arrests. Police shared an update roughly an hour later and said that 35 people were arrested "for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding," including 17 members of congress.
According to CNN, protestors were seen wearing "Won't Back Down" bandanas while fighting for abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion last month. They began their protest at the Capitol before heading to the Supreme Court. After ignoring police's commands to "cease and desist" the protesters were arrested while stating, "The people, united, will never be divided."
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Members of Congress who were arrested include Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Barbara Lee of California, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, Cori Bush of Missouri, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Alma Adams of North Carolina, per several outlets.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP
Sharing footage on her Instagram Story, AOC wrote, "Today I got to scratch 'Get Arrested with Barbara Lee' off my bucket list #BansOffOurBodies @repbarbaralee."
She later let her supporters know, "We're all good and made it back in time for votes."
Alongside a powerful video of her walking with her fellow protestors and chanting "bans off our bodies," Omar wrote, "Today I put my body on the line and got arrested outside the Supreme Court to protest the court taking away our reproductive rights. Serious times call for serious action."
She also posted a follow-up video of herself walking in handcuffs while an officer walked swiftly behind her. She captioned that footage, "Today I was arrested while participating in a civil disobedience action with my fellow Members of Congress outside the Supreme Court. I will continue to do everything in my power to raise the alarm about the assault on our reproductive rights! ✊🏽"
Tlaib captioned a video of the arrest on her Instagram feed, "I'm willing to do whatever it takes to protect abortion rights—even if it means getting arrested. I joined my Democratic Women's Caucus colleagues in a civil disobedience action outside the Supreme Court. We won't go back!"
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Pressley also addressed the incident in a press release via her website.
"This Supreme Court has been relentless in stripping away our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, but we're not backing down," she said. "Today, we put our bodies on the line to defend abortion rights because the stakes in this fight could not be higher. Due to the cruelty and callousness of this Court, millions of people now face insurmountable barriers to abortion care and the health of our most vulnerable—especially our Black, brown, low-income, disabled, Indigenous and LGBTQ+ siblings—is now further at risk."
Pressley continued, "I'm grateful to all of the advocates on the frontline of this fight who led us in peaceful protest today and have been leading this movement for generations. Abortion rights are human rights, and we won't stop fighting until our policies and budgets reflect that fundamental truth."
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She also shared footage of the protest and arrests on her Instagram page, writing, "Abortion rights are human rights and I'm not letting up in this fight."
Maloney spoke out on her arrest in a statement shared on her website.
"There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care," she began. "I have the privilege of representing a state where reproductive rights are respected and protected — the least I can do is put my body on the line for the 33 million women at risk of losing their rights."
Added Maloney: "The Republican Party and the right-wing extremists behind this decision are not pro-life, but pro-controlling the bodies of women, girls, and any person who can become pregnant. Their ultimate goal is to institute a national ban on abortion. We will not let them win. We will be back."