AOC, other lawmakers arrested outside Supreme Court at protest for abortion rights

Capitol Police confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that they’d arrested 16 members of Congress

Jenna Amatulli
Tuesday 19 July 2022 21:09 BST
AOC among lawmakers arrested during abortion rights protest
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A group of lawmakers, including Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Andy Levin, Cori Bush, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jackie Speier, Alma Adams, Veronica Escobar, and Carolyn B Maloney, were detained and arrested on Tuesday outside of the Supreme Court amid an abortion rights demonstration.

An official statement from Capitol Police reported 34 arrests for “Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (DC Code § 22–1307).”

“That arrest number includes 16 Members of Congress,” they noted in a tweet.

In an earlier tweet, Capitol Police claimed that demonstrators were “starting to block First Street, NE” and that it “is against the law to block traffic, so officers are going to give our standard three warnings before they start making arrests.”

The demonstration was happening in the wake of the high court’s harrowing decision last month to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling that offered constitutional protection to abortion care. Since then, there have been a series of congressional hearings on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision as many Democrats and abortion rights group plead for Congress to take action.

In a statement shared to her website after her detainment, Rep Maloney claimed she’d been arrested and told supporters: “There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care. 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.

“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.”

Rep Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about her arrest with an accompanying video of the moment.

Rep Omar also shared a video of the arrests, writing in a tweet to followers that she “will continue to do everything in my power to raise the alarm about the assault on our reproductive rights!”

Staffers for Rep Adams tweeted on her behalf in the wake of her arrest as well, confirming that she’d been arrested for “protesting for abortion rights and reproductive justice at the Supreme Court.”

Rep Pressley’s spokesperson Ricardo A Sánchez also issued a statement confirming her arrest and that they “will share more information as soon as it becomes available.”

Also on Tuesday, Rep Speier tweeted that she was “proud to march with my Democratic colleagues including ⁦⁦@DemWomenCaucus⁩ members, and get arrested for women’s rights, abortion rights, the rights for people to control their own bodies and the future and our democracy!”

Rep Bush tweeted after her release that “the Supreme Court will not stop us.”

“Even though they arrested us, we won’t stop our organizing, agitating, and legislating for justice. We got us,” she said.

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