Abortion protests sweep nation’s capital (includes video story)

Protests broke out across the nation last weekend following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 decision that protects women’s constitutional right to abortion.

Politico published the draft, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, on May 2. It is unknown who is behind the leak, but the Court confirmed the legitimacy of the draft in a press release the next day.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. 

If the draft is made official by the Court, about half of the states in the country are expected to restrict or completely outlaw abortion. Onlookers await the official decision, which is expected by the end of June.

Signs for and against abortion rights line barricades outside of the Supreme Court. (Maya Washburn/SFMN)

After two days of demonstrations that followed the leak, police placed barricades on the Supreme Court steps and workers constructed an eight-foot-tall fence surrounding the Court, NBC reported.

Pro-choice advocate Michelle Peterson stood with a sign outside of the Supreme Court steps on Monday for over five hours.

“This has always been the law since I’ve been born,” said Peterson. “I’ve never thought that it would be yanked away.”

An eight-foot-tall fence surrounds the Supreme Court steps in light of recent protests. (Maya Washburn/SFMN)

Thousands of pro-choice activists marched from the National Mall to the Supreme Court on Saturday in a “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally. They were joined by other groups around the nation, including a rally at Ives Estates Park in Miami.

SFMN spoke with three women protestors who favor overturning Roe v. Wade.

“What motivates me to come and pray for this is I just care a lot for the lives of the unborn that have not been heard,” said one of the pro-life advocate who wished to remain anonymous. “Nobody’s been voicing them.”

Pro-life and pro-choice groups alike are expected to congregate for continued protests on Capitol Hill and around the nation throughout the week.

Video package by Nicole Castañeda. Written story by Maya Washburn.

Nicole Castañeda is a psychologist and designer double major at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and has a master degree in Clinical Psychology and Logo-therapy. She is currently doing her masters in Spanish Journalism at Florida International University. She is passionate about fashion and journalism and her goal is to be able to work as a reporter in a Latin American channel.

Maya Washburn is a Caplin News DC bureau summer correspondent studying digital journalism with a concentration in criminal justice at the FIU Honors College. Her primary focus is reporting on previously untold stories, with her writing often involving investigations, underrepresented issues, crime, mental health, education, politics and more.