Thousands protest throughout Seattle over abortion rights

Jun 24, 2022, 7:04 PM
Demonstrators march through downtown following a rally in support of abortion rights on May 3, 2022...
Demonstrators march through downtown following a rally in support of abortion rights on May 3, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. A leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito has suggested that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a historic ruling that gives women in America the ability to legally have abortions. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Crowds gathered in Seattle Friday afternoon to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn and restrict abortion rights nationwide.

Protestors congregated at the downtown Federal Building at Marion Street and Second Avenue, led by the organization Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

“Our flyer argues that we cannot accept this unpopular attack from the Supreme Court, which is opposed by 69% of the population,” DSA said in a press release. “We can – and must – build a mass movement to defend and extend reproductive rights. Toward that end, our flyers and picket signs urge activists to pressure mass organizations, particularly Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March organization, and AFL-CIO, to use their authority to call a Million Person March on Washington in September.

“DSA on our own cannot call a Million Person March, but we can pressure bigger organizations to do this,” the organization’s press release continued.

Another large crowd gathered at Westlake Plaza, where demonstrators carried signs stating “Forced Motherhood = Female Enslavement,” “Protect women, not guns,” and, “Abort the court.”

The group, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, is leading that protest while anchoring a second protest at the same time and place on Saturday as well. Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights is conducting demonstrations across the nation in 16 cities.

USA Today is tracking protests nationally through live updates.

Live reactions to Roe v. Wade ruling from KIRO Newsradio

The Seattle chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) expects vigilantism to grow in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision. Chantele Machado, Vice President of NOW, believes a decision like this tends to encourage people to harass women entering or leaving abortion clinics.

“It empowers them that they’re right,” Machado said. “They’re going to go to the places they disagree with and spread that message, unfortunately. We have been a free country, and to have this piece be taken away is throwing us back decades.”

NOW is taking part in protests against the Supreme Court’s decision. The group is promoting fundraisers that support women in other states seeking abortions.

Women who spoke with KIRO Newsradio while attending protests in downtown Seattle said they were worried for their granddaughters in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.

“My grandmother terminated her pregnancy with a back-alley abortion,” a woman at a pro-abortion rally said. “She described it as ‘oh, he really hurt me.’ ”

She is worried we could see more unsafe abortions in the future while also fearing that the Supreme Court could decide to repeal other rights, such as gay marriage.

Meanwhile, the Washington State Republican Party celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

“We believe every life is precious, that human beings have inherent worth and dignity,” State Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich said. “That’s why Republicans will continue to focus on public safety, supporting our first responders, and advocating compassionate assistance for those in our society struggling with homelessness caused by drug addiction and mental illness.”

Republican State Senator Mike Padden says the U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

“I believe we have a lot of work to do to get some reasonable limits on a rather radical, extreme pro-abortion policy we have in our state,” Padden said.

One of his next goals is to push for legislation banning sex-selection abortions, abortions based on disabilities such as Down Syndrome, late-term abortions, and “some rather gruesome methods of abortion that exist today.”

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Thousands protest throughout Seattle over abortion rights