More than a dozen Democratic lawmakers were arrested while participating in an abortion rights protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Demonstrators marched arm-in-arm shouting “our body, our choice” and “we won’t go back” in protest of the court’s decision last month to reverse the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that protected abortion rights nationwide.
A total of 35 people, including 17 congressional lawmakers, were arrested, the U.S. Capitol Police said in updated numbers.
Those taken into custody include Reps. Alma Adams (N.C.), Cori Bush (Mo.), Katherine Clark (Mass.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.), Madeleine Dean (Pa.), Veronica Escobar (Texas), Sara Jacobs (Calif.), Andy Levin (Mich.), Carolyn B. Maloney (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.).
The arrests were for crowding or obstructing traffic and came after three warnings, authorities said.
“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 in a statement released by her office upon her arrest.
Maloney called it a privilege to represent her state of New York, where legislators have been working to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. But she said her work isn’t done until the millions of women outside her state get the same reproductive 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,” Maloney said. “Their ultimate goal is to institute a national ban on abortion. We will not let them win. We will be back.”
Escobar, whose state of Texas is expected to soon criminalize nearly all abortions under a “trigger law” following the Supreme Court’s decision, called current efforts to strip women of their reproductive rights draconian and anti-woman.
“My arrest today for civil disobedience was a small act in the centuries-long battle to ensure every woman has the freedom to make personal decisions with those they love and trust without politicians trying to control them,” she said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Lee of California similarly called it a “moral responsibility to push back against unjust laws.”
“Today, I am standing up for reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy in solidarity with the millions who have had their rights stripped away by inhumane policies,” she tweeted alongside a photo of herself participating in the protest.