Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley Among 17 Democrats Arrested In Abortion Protest

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U.S. Capitol Police Officers detain Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) after participating in a sit-in with activists from the Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPDA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on July 19, 2022, in Washington, DC.
U.S. Capitol Police Officers detain Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) after participating in a sit-in with activists from the Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPDA) in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on July 19, 2022, in Washington, DC.

According to NBC News, Seventeen Democratic lawmakers were arrested during their demonstration blocking the street leading up to the Supreme Court building. Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) were among the representatives briefly taken into custody for “Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding.”

Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, House and Senate Democrats have been pushing for ways to codify reproductive rights into law. Right after the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 was passed among party lines, House representatives took their message a step further in the form of protest.

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The Capitol police had made 35 arrests, including the 17 House representatives. Before the arrests began, the U.S. Capitol Police tweeted: “Demonstrators are 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.”

Pressley spokesperson Ricardo A. Sánchez said the congresswoman had “joined her colleagues and grassroots advocates for a non-violent civil disobedience to protest the Supreme Court’s cruel and callous decision.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) reiterated her commitment in a statement to fighting for reproductive rights and drew a contrast to the Republican party, which wants to take them away.

“There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care.”

“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,” she added.

In a video chronicling her arrest, Rep. Omar tweeted, “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!”

Rep. Cori Bush wrote, “I introduced legislation yesterday and today to protect reproductive freedom. ” Today, my colleagues and I put our bodies on the line — because we will leave no stone unturned in our fight for justice. Bans off our bodies.”