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Around the nation, demonstrators show support for abortion rights

Abortion-rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters gather Sunday outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.
Tasos Katopodis
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Abortion-rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters gather Sunday outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.

Updated June 26, 2022 at 6:20 PM ET

As nearly two dozen states move to ban or restrict access to abortion following Friday's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights protests continued across the country.

In Alabama, hundreds gathered on Saturday in Birmingham, reciting poems, dancing and spreading hugs, all in support of reproductive rights, according to WBHM's Miranda Fulmore.

Fulmore reported that the Birmingham crowd, one of at least five rallies in Alabama over the weekend, chanted in unison Saturday: "We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

Marchers streamed through downtown Boston as well on Saturday, with changes of "What do we want? Abortion rights," according to GBH's Jeremy Siegel.

In Philadelphia, Democratic attorney general and candidate for governor Josh Shapiro held a rally near the Liberty Bell, putting November's election in focus. With a GOP majority in both chambers, the Keystone State could restrict abortion if a Republican wins the gubernatorial race.

Shapiro told the crowd of more than a thousand, "The reason why I'm hopeful today is because you're here," reported WHYY's Emily Rizzo.

In a statement, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the GOP candidate, said, "Roe v. Wade is rightly relegated to the ash heap of history."

He is the prime sponsor of a bill to restrict abortion in Pennsylvania.

In Washington, D.C., protesters in favor of abortion rights continued gathering in front of the Supreme Court building, NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben reports.

One man even slept on top of D.C.'s Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge as a form of protest, Business Insider reports.

Hundreds took to the streets in the sweltering heat of New Orleans, La., on Friday and called on city officials to make New Orleans a sanctuary city for abortions, according to WWNO's Carly Berlin.

While most rallies were entirely peaceful, deputies with the Arizona Department of Public Safety fired tear gas at demonstrators outside of the capitol building in Phoenix on Friday. It briefly disrupted the legislative session, according to KJZZ's Ben Giles.

"Republican state Sen. T.J. Shope said senators briefly evacuated the chamber and sheltered in an underground tunnel connecting the House and Senate before returning to work," he reported on Saturday.

And in Seattle on Friday night, KNKX's Bellamy Pailthorp reports protesters risked an arrest to stage a sit-in on Second Avenue near the Jackson Federal Building, with another sit-in taking place at Pike Place Market, a popular tourist destination.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laura Benshoff
Laura Benshoff is a reporter covering energy and climate for NPR's National desk. Prior to this assignment, she spent eight years at WHYY, Philadelphia's NPR Member station. There, she most recently focused on the economy and immigration. She has reported on the causes of the Great Resignation, Afghans left behind after the U.S. troop withdrawal and how a government-backed rent-to-own housing program failed its tenants. Other highlights from her time at WHYY include exploring the dynamics of the 2020 presidential election cycle through changing communities in central Pennsylvania and covering comedian Bill Cosby's criminal trials.