Washington (AFP) – At least 17 Democratic lawmakers, including prominent progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, were arrested at an abortion rights protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Tuesday, police said.
The US Capitol police said on Twitter that the demonstrators had blocked traffic on a nearby road and were been given three warnings before officers made the arrests.
“We made a total of 35 arrests for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding,” the police said. “That arrest number includes 17 Members of Congress.”
The small demonstration came three weeks after a controversial ruling by the Supreme Court that overturned the 1973 landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed women’s access to abortion.
“Today I was arrested while participating in a civil disobedience action with my fellow Members of Congress outside the Supreme Court,” Omar, representative from Minnesota, said on Twitter.
“I will continue to do everything in my power to raise the alarm about the assault on our reproductive rights!” she tweeted.
Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York was also arrested, and issued a statement saying, “There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care.”
“The Republican Party and the right-wing extremists behind this decision are not pro-life, but pro-controlling the bodies of women, girls, and any person who can become pregnant.”
Footage from the protest showed Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and others being led away, not in handcuffs, and waving to supporters.