Outside Supreme Court, crowd amplifies abortion arguments

Stephen Parlato of Boulder, Colo., holds a sign that reads “Hands Off Roe!!!” as abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday in Washington. The court heard arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability. (AP photo)

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of abortion debate partisans crowded the plaza in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, trading chants as justices heard the highly anticipated arguments inside.

“Whose choice?” “My choice!” was a frequent call-and-response on the abortion rights side, countered by “Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go.”

Jo Luttazi, wearing gloves emblazoned with “Bans Off Our Bodies” on the palms, said everyone should have access to abortion as a form of health care.

“As somebody who is assigned female at birth, and having female anatomy, I have had a terrible time trying to just be able to be in control of my body,” the 22-year-old said. “So issues around bodily autonomy have always been very close to my heart. I knew I had to be here.”

A woman who wanted to be identified only as Nancy held a sign with an American flag on it that said “Pray.”

“We need to come together to stop the murder of millions of children,” she said. “I don’t understand why that’s so controversial. I’m out here to exercise my First Amendment right and I wish that would be respected.”

The crowd rallying with the Center for Reproductive Rights swelled to about 400 as the sun rose over the majestic building, outnumbering the anti-abortion demonstrators holding up images of fetuses.

“You need to repent,” one man yelled into a bullhorn, trying to drown out an abortion rights speaker. “You want women to murder babies. You love the murder of children.”


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