US Capitol Police (USCP) have arrested two people for the destruction of property during protests at the Supreme Court in the wake of the decision to overturn abortion rights that has brought to the fore the rift between the two major political parties and their supporters in the United States.
The Supreme Court on Friday overturned a landmark 1973 ruling, the Roe versus Wade decision, that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to seek an abortion.
The new ruling has also prompted protests for and against abortion rights. On Saturday, demonstrators accumulated outside the Supreme Court since it released its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision on Friday, ending federal-level abortion protections and returning authority over abortion access to the states. The protesters continued to voice their fury and anguish nationwide.
A number of protesters also celebrated the court ruling.
The two protesters who were arrested allegedly threw paint over the fence separating demonstrators and others from the Supreme Court building, according to USCP.
The 6-3 decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, upheld a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Capitol Police also released an update on heat issues affecting demonstrators at the Supreme Court with temperatures reaching the high 80s.
“The USCP and our local partners worked together to bring in cooling buses & additional people to help demonstrators with heat issues,” the police wrote, sharing that they had helped “roughly 12 people” thus far.
The Capitol Police tweeted an announcement on Friday that demonstrators were gathering “on Capitol Grounds” in front of the Supreme Court.
“Protesters are allowed to peacefully demonstrate,” wrote the police. “However they must follow the officer’s instructions so that everyone stays safe.”
"It's like seeing the train coming toward you," said Julia Kaluta, 24, one of many abortion-rights advocates gathered in New York City. "And you finally get hit by it. And it still hurts more than you ever thought."
Democrats condemned the ruling as an infringement of women's rights.
US President Joe Biden said his administration will protect the "bedrock right" of women to travel from states that ban abortion to those that allow it, also pledging to protect women's access to medications.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that the Supreme Court's decision would pave the way for extremism by the Republicans.
Pelosi said the decision has fulfilled a dark goal of the Republican Party.
Former US President Donald Trump, a Republican, appointed three Conservative justices to the Supreme Court when he was in office, establishing a solid six-member conservative majority.
Republicans cheered the Supreme Court's decision while accusing the “radical left” of "bullying” the US court judges.