Protests, Chaos and Rage Follows Supreme Court’s Undoing of Roe v. Wade and Constitutional Right to Abortion

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Days of chaos and rage have followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s deeply controversial decision to strip women of the constitutional right to end unwanted pregnancies.

Violence and anger erupted in demonstrations across the country as police grappled with supporters of abortion rights and many states moved quickly to ban the medical procedure.

The seismic shift in America’s reproductive rights gives states the right to regulate abortion access and nearly half have indicated they will ban the procedure in most cases.

After Friday’s momentous decision, some clinics immediately halted abortion services, even as women sat in waiting rooms. The lone abortion provider in South Dakota prepared to move to Minnesota.

A CBS News poll released Sunday showed Americans said the decision was a step backward, by more than a 20-point margin. Women, by more than a three-to-one margin, said the ruling will worsen their lives.

The survey found that 52% of Americans viewed the decision as a step backward for the country and 59% disapprove of it.

In Arizona, police tear-gassed protesters outside the state Senate office as they banged on glass doors. In Los Angeles, actress Jodie Sweetin from “Full House” was seen on video being shoved to the asphalt by LAPD officers. 

In South Carolina, six people were arrested after anti-abortion demonstrators clashed with abortion rights supporters. In New York City, former mayor Rudy Giuliani was slapped on the back during a supermarket appearance with his son Andrew, who is running for governor.

The elder Giuliani, who also is close Donald Trump ally, said he was hit by an employee who opposed the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that was overturned Friday.

“The one thing he said that was political was ‘you’re going to kill women, you’re going to kill women,’” Giuliani told The New York Times.

At a rally with former president Trump on Saturday, Republican Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois applauded the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, calling it a “historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court.”

Her campaign staff immediately declared Miller had misspoke and had meant to say “a historic victory for right to life by the Supreme Court.” Miller faces another Republican in Tuesday’s primary election for the state’s15th congressional district.

International leaders were quick to respond, with most expressing dismay at the high court’s ruling.

“The news coming out of the United States is horrific. My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I can’t imagine the fear and anger you are feeling right now.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, “Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected. I express my solidarity with the women whose freedoms are today challenged by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also weighed in. “I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s a big step backwards,” he said. “I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view and that’s why the UK has the laws that it does.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued another contentious ruling, deciding that a Washington state school district violated the First Amendment free speech rights of a high school coach when was fired after praying at the 50-yard line following football games.

The court’s right-leaning decisions have also created fear among human rights advocates who say Supreme Court rulings protecting contraception, gay marriage and gay rights are also endangered.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that precedent-setting rulings that established those rights should also be re-examined.

“This is really dangerous territory, a dangerous path to be set down,” activist Alyssa Montaleano told WHDH-TV. “Now that it’s happened you have to keep looking to the future, you know that they’re not going to stop here.”