Law enforcement deployed tear gas on a group of angry abortion rights protesters who gathered outside of the Arizona Senate building following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24.
Video footage of the incident captured by Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita showed protesters holding signs and shouting outside of the state capitol. Some demonstrators could be seen banging on the glass doors of the government building. Lawmakers were reportedly working on legislature inside the capitol when the protest erupted.
Democratic state Sen. Martín Quezada tweeted that he and other lawmakers were on the voting floor when they were quickly “rushed into the basement” after tear gas was fired at the group of protestors.
On June 25, the Arizona DPS released a statement about the intense encounter noting how the protestors tried to “breach the doors of the Arizona Senate and force their way into the building,” terrifying citizens and lawmakers inside the capitol.
“Due to the direct threat to the occupants of the Senate building and damage to the building itself, Arizona State Troopers took immediate action and utilized tactics including the deployment of field force teams and tear gas,” the press release added, according to Buzzfeed.
Now that Roe is overturned, individual states will be given the power to decide whether to provide access to the procedure. The Guttmacher Institute notes, that 26 states are expected to ban abortion outright or during the early stages of pregnancy. However, abortion care will continue to be available in 16 states. Among those states are New York, North Carolina and California. Alternatives like the abortion pill will be readily available to individuals in need, but lawmakers are quickly working to restrict access to the medication.
Women react to Roe V. Wade decision during national protests
Friday’s intense protest in Arizona was one of many demonstrations that exploded across the U.S. following the ruling. Protestors gathered in major cities like New York and Washington D.C. to fight back against the devasting decision.
“I didn’t want to be here, I didn’t think I had to be here because it’s settled law,” a woman named Cathy told NBC Washington outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Friday. “I hope you know that, Clarence Thomas, and I hope you know that, Alito, and the rest of the justices that voted to overturn Roe V. Wade. I am very disappointed, it’s not going to stop abortions, it’s just going to make them unsafe,” she added.
47-year-old Theresa Irish echoed a similar sentiment to the Huffington Post.
“I’m very upset by this decision. I don’t think the government has any right to step in and say what I can do with my body. What happens between me and my doctor is 100% between me and my doctor,” she said.
The Metropolitan Police Department has issued a full departmental activation until June 28 along with D.C. Homeland Security to help quell tension in anticipation of future demonstrations.