Reps. Cori Bush, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley Among 17 House Dems Arrested At Abortion Rally

The U.S. Capitol Police announced they arrested 35 people, including 17 Democratic members of Congress, during a protest that blocked traffic over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Early Tuesday afternoon, the federal law enforcement agency wrote on Twitter that it issued its “standard three warnings” before making arrests. Demonstrators blocked off traffic on First Street, NE by the Supreme Court building. 

“We made a total of 35 arrests for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (DC Code § 22–1307). That arrest number includes 17 Members of Congress,” the Capitol Police account tweeted.

The 17 lawmakers are:

  • Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.)
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
  • Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.)
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
  • Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.)
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.)
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.)
  • Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.)
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.)
  • Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

Video footage online will show that none of the Congressmembers involved were physically handcuffed; but instead, were peacefully escorted off the premises to be processed by the Capitol Police at a table in the shade. 

All protesters could be seen adorned in or brandishing a green cloth that reads “Won’t Back Down.” Green has emerged as the abortion movement’s designated color. According to NPR, the shade associated with reproductive rights can be traced back nearly two decades to Argentina, where a growing number of activists were pushing for the government to legalize abortion. The pro-choice hue is said to symbolize hope, health, and life.

A representative for Congresswoman Cori Bush emailed a statement to ESSENCE: 

“St. Louis sent me to Congress to do everything in my power to protect our rights and improve our lives. That’s why I’m fighting with everything I’ve got for my community. Yesterday and today I introduced legislation to protect reproductive freedom, and today I was arrested with 16 of my Democratic colleagues and several organizers at an action outside of the Supreme Court. Today was not the first day I’ve put my body on the line for our freedom, and I’m willing to do it again. As I’ve said before, we need to be doing everything in our power to secure reproductive justice and access to abortion. I am thankful for the members of Congress and organizers who banded together today and will continue doing so in the fight for reproductive freedom.”

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley retweeted a video of her chanting, “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” while being detained by Capitol Police.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar also shared a video of her arrest. She wrote, “I will continue to do everything in my power to raise the alarm about the assault on our reproductive rights!”

Pro-choice supporters—as well as anti-choice supporters—have been demonstrating near the Supreme Court since the court’s decision to overturn the 50-year-old landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade nearly a month ago. The conservative-leaning court ruled that abortion is not a constitutional right in a 5-3 vote. 

The lawmakers are expected to be released and fined.

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