Abortion Rallies Display Painful Divide

Clinics cancel appointments as patients try to rebook in other states
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2022 5:45 PM CDT
Abortion Rallies Display Painful Divide
Red paint covers part of the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court on Saturday as crowds protest the court's ruling released Friday.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

(Newser) – Thousands of people protesting the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade returned to the streets of dozens of cities on Saturday. Smaller crowds turned out in many places to celebrate the ruling, CNN reports, and the two sides sometimes got in each other's faces to argue the issue. With some states already putting bans on abortion services in place, clinics canceled weekend appointments, sometimes for patients sitting in their waiting rooms, per the New York Times. Activists said a long struggle is just beginning—with one side trying to further increase abortion restrictions while the other concentrates on electing politicians in the November midterms who will work for abortion rights—despite the fact that they knew the ruling was imminent. "It's like seeing the train coming toward you," said Julia Kaluta, 24, at a demonstration in New York City. "And you finally get hit by it. And it still hurts more than you ever thought."

Developments involved:

  • The ban: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have already put a prohibition on providing abortions into effect.
  • The clinics: Providers in Arizona and Arkansas have begun turning away patients, per CNN. Little Rock Planned Parenthood canceled 60 to 100 appointments, said Dr. Janet Cathey. "There were patients who said they were in their car and on their way and asked us, 'It will be OK, won't it?'" Cathey said. "And we had to tell them, 'No, we have to follow the law.'" She added: "Most patients were desperate or panicked." Patients in some places rushed to book appointments in states where abortions are still legal, such as Illinois and Minnesota.
  • Official resistance: The Republican governors of Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Vermont said they'll preserve abortion rights, despite the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Polls show them to be have among the highest approval ratings of any governors in the US, per the Washington Post, and all are in mostly Democratic states. Michigan's attorney general said she won't prosecute anybody for seeking an abortion, per WMMT.
  • Clashes: Police used tear gas on protesters outside the Arizona Capitol on Friday night. The protest mostly was peaceful, per the AP, and demonstrators called the police response an overreaction. Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, issued a statement Saturday calling the protest a failed insurrection. In Iowa, a truck was driven into a crowd of abortion rights protesters crossing a street on Friday night in Cedar Rapids. "He tried to murder them," a local journalist said. One woman was taken to a hospital. No arrests were made, per Yahoo News.
  • Voices: Both sides demonstrated at a clinic in Overland Park, Kan., near the Missouri line. Abortion became illegal in Missouri on Friday, and Kansas has a measure on the Aug. 2 ballot that would remove protections for abortion services, per the Times. "I fear for my child," said Abbye Putterman, 36, who has a 12-year-old daughter. "I worry that she isn't going to have choice." Abortion rights opponents chanted and tried to keep women from going into the clinic. "We don't believe in moral compromise," said Valley Scharping, 26, "and we don’t want them to be guilty of murder."
(Read more Roe v. Wade stories.)

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