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Nationwide protests go on as supporters and opponents of abortion rights map next moves

From Washington, D.C., to the West Coast, angry, raucous demonstrations break out.

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Angered by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, people hit the streets again on Sunday for more raucous mass protests against a ruling that almost immediately made access to abortions all but impossible in at least 18 states.

From Washington, D.C., where on Friday the conservatives on the court swept aside a half-century of precedent to do away with the law, to the West Coast, protests broke out.

As several states enacted bans, both supporters and opponents of abortion rights mapped out their next moves.

Key highlights:

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, whose state was among several where “trigger" laws were set to take effect after Roe v. Wade was struck down, said her administration would enforce its ban on telemedicine abortions, putting the state on a legal warpath against the federal government.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called the overturning "a crisis of our democracy” and questioned the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
  • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose state has banned abortions in almost all circumstances, insisted that access to contraception was “not going to be touched.”
  • New York City's Pride parade, which typically recalls the marches and riots of the gay rights movement, focused on a celebration of identities and abortion rights. Planned Parenthood helped lead the parade, and while people many waved flags or held signs in support of reproductive rights, many also remarked that the energy of the crowd remained light, hopeful and joyous rather than angry.
92d ago / 10:12 PM EDT

Decision is 'soul-crushing,' Arizona mom says

Natacha Chavez took her 8-year-old daughter along to an abortion rights rally outside the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on Friday night. Ten minutes in, they were met with tear gas.

Chavez, 37, said she took her daughter, Amelia, to the protest to expose her to “how to be better humans” through action. She said she has taken her children to many protests throughout the years.

Arizona law enforcement officials warned the crowd several times to leave the area before the gas was deployed, state Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said.

However, Chavez said she never heard a warning and was surprised by the tear gas. She then immediately grabbed her daughter by the arm and ran in the opposite direction.

“We were further away, but the gas had traveled and got into most everyone’s eyes, including myself and my daughter,” she said. “Her eyes were burning and stinging.”

Chavez said that when she found out about the Supreme Court ruling Friday she immediately thought about her daughter and other young women.

“It’s very much soul-crushing to know that my daughter and her friends won’t have choices,” Chavez said. “It definitely makes you feel like a second-class citizen.”

Amelia Chavez's eyes were "burning and stinging" after authorities used tear gas Friday at a protest in Phoenix, said her mother, Natacha Chavez.Natacha Chavez / via Twitter
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92d ago / 6:49 PM EDT

Protester in Phoenix captures video of police firing tear gas

A protester at an abortion rights rally in Phoenix on Friday captured video of Arizona law enforcement officials using tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters outside the Arizona State Capitol.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety "shot a ton of canisters at the group I was in, even though we were hundreds of feet away from the capitol building,” said Storm Elexandria Glassheart, 25, who shared footage of the protest on Twitter. “They did not warn us.” She said she also witnessed one woman collapse.

Tear gas was used after a part of a door was broken and after monuments were allegedly vandalized at a nearby plaza, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves told NBC News.

Following Friday’s protest, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a news release that protesters “attempted to breach the doors of the Arizona Senate and force their way into the building.”

The Phoenix Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Glassheart said she attended the protest because Friday's news about the ruling made her "so scared and angry."

"Living in a state like Arizona I knew that it meant abortions were going to be made inaccessible," she said. "I just don’t have words, honestly. I genuinely hoped, and still do hope, that the reaction would be similar to the one we saw with the Black Lives Matter protests back in 2020: big and loud and messy and all encompassing."

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92d ago / 6:38 PM EDT

Musicians bash SCOTUS during weekend performances in the U.K.

A handful of musicians used their stage time over the weekend to call out the Supreme Court for banning abortion in the United States.

Olivia Rodrigo, Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish and Phoebe Bridgers, who were all performing in the U.K. this weekend for the five-day Glastonbury Festival, all mentioned Friday's ruling during their performances.

"I'm devastated and terrified ... so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this," Rodrigo said.

She had U.K. artist Lily Allen join her on stage a duet for one of Allen’s most popular songs, which she dedicated to the five justices who voted to overturn the decades-old precedent that established federal abortion rights.

In the middle of her performance on Saturday night, Megan also addressed the decision.

“You know I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t say something about these stupid-ass men,” Megan said.

“And I want to have it on the ... record that the hot boys and the hot girls do not support this bullshit that y’all campaign for,” Megan continued. “My body is my motherf---- choice.” She told the crowd of attendees to repeat the chant, and asked them to raise their middle fingers.

In an Instagram post, Megan also shared resources on where people can donate and how people can take action. “The court has failed us all — but we won’t back down,” she wrote in the Instagram caption.

Eilish told fans in the crowd at her show Friday that it was a "really, really dark day for women in the U.S."

“I’m just going to say that because I can’t bear to think about it any longer," she said, before dedicating her song “Your Power" to everyone affected by the decision.

Bridgers led an anti-Supreme Court chant during her set. “Are there any Americans here?” she asked the crowd. “Who wants to say f–-- the Supreme Court?”

During a Friday night concert in London, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong said he is “renouncing” his U.S. citizenship after the ruling.

“F--- America,” he told concertgoers. He also called the U.S. a “miserable f---ing excuse for a country” and said he would continue to voice his opinions on the subject. 

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92d ago / 7:34 PM EDT

Jodie Sweetin thrown to ground by police during weekend L.A. protest

"Full House" actor Jodie Sweetin was thrown to the ground by police during an abortion rights protest on a Los Angeles freeway over the weekend, a representative for the actor confirmed.

The incident, which occurred Saturday, was captured on video and circulated on social media. The video appears to show police shoving a woman, dressed in black with a megaphone, to the pavement. Sweetin's publicist confirmed she is the person in the video.

In a statement shared by her publicist, Sweetin said she will "continue fighting for our rights."

“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court," Sweetin said.

"Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free."

A Los Angeles Police Department representative said the agency is aware of the footage, but declined to comment on Sunday.

Michael Ade, 32, who shot video of the incident, said the confrontation was not necessary.

“I was honestly shocked that the officers shoved her in the forceful manner in which they did because she was actually trying to direct people away from the freeway at that point," Ade said. “I know her personally. She’s a friend and we’ve been in the streets protesting together. I’ve known her to be very vocal about her stances on a lot of issues and obviously this is one that hits close to home to many people. I’m not surprised in the least bit that she’s out on the streets kind of letting her voice be heard.”

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92d ago / 5:09 PM EDT

Photos: Angry protests and joyful celebrations across the country

Supporters and opponents of abortion rights have hit the streets this weekend following the Supreme Court’s ruling. See more photos here.

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