- Three women interrupted arguments at the Supreme Court to protest the abortion ruling.
- The protesters were removed from the courtroom by security and arguments continued.
WASHINGTON – Three women who indicated they were opposed to the Supreme Court’s controversial abortion ruling earlier this year briefly interrupted oral arguments in another case on Wednesday.
“Our right to choose will not be taken away,” one of the protesters said just minutes into the court’s proceedings before she was whisked away by court police. “Women vote for our right to choose.”
“We will restore our freedom to choose,” another woman said minutes later.
The consecutive interruptions were the first of their kind since the court overturned its landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade in June and ended a constitutional right to abortion. They came on a day when the courtroom was not as packed as it has been for several other, higher profile cases.
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The high court was hearing arguments in an unrelated case dealing with the Bank Secrecy Act. Neither the justices nor the attorney arguing reacted to the interruptions.
The protests were in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe and prompted protests across the country.
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The three women were arrested and charged with crimes related to interrupting court proceedings, including a federal law that bans making “a harangue or oration” at the Supreme Court.
Such interruptions are rare, but they do happen occasionally. In 2015, a group of protesters interrupted arguments over an earlier campaign finance ruling.
The protests arrived at a fraught moment for the court, when polls show dwindling trust in the institution – particularly on the left – and several of the justices appeared to debate in public over the significance of that decline. The court reopened arguments to the public in October for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.