Several Democratic lawmakers were arrested at an abortion rights protest outside the Capitol on Tuesday as demonstrators railed against the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"Squad" members Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and other Democrats including Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) were among those escorted away from the demonstration by police, The Hill reported.
According to police, the protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court building illegally obstructed traffic.
At 1:18 p.m., U.S. Capitol police tweeted that demonstrators were "starting to block First Street, NE."
"It is against the law to block traffic, so officers are going to give our standard three warnings before they start making arrests," police said.
Two minutes later the police said they started making arrests after warning the demonstrators to "get out of the street."
By 1:35 p.m. the protest was cleared. Capitol Police said a total of 34 arrests were made for crowding, obstructing, or incommoding, including 16 members of Congress.
Axios later reported that 17 lawmakers were arrested. They are:
- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.),
- Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.)
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
- Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.)
- Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.)
- Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
- Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.)
- Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.)
- Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)
- Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas)
- Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
Video posted on Twitter showed police officers escorting lawmakers away from the demonstration.
As Ocasio-Cortez was taken away by police, she held her hands behind her back as if she was handcuffed, but she was not. Video shows her raising her fist in defiant salute to the other protesters.
Some of the Democrats issued statements after their arrest.
"There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care," Maloney said.
A spokesman for Pressley told The Hill that the congresswoman participated in a protest against the "cruel and callous decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and strip away abortion rights for everyone who calls America home."
Speier, who reportedly led the protest, tweeted 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!"
In June, the Supreme Court overruled its abortion precedents in the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, which said the Constitution does not protect the right to abortion. It was an unambiguous victory for the pro-life movement in America, which had campaigned and peacefully protested for Roe to be overturned in Washington D.C. for nearly 50 years without incident.