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17 members of Congress arrested during Supreme Court protest, Capitol Police say

Harris: "Pro-choice Congress" needed to protect abortion rights
Harris stresses need for "pro-choice Congress" to protect abortion rights 13:03

Seventeen members of Congress were among those arrested Tuesday during an abortion rights demonstration outside the Supreme Court, according to the U.S. Capitol Police

U.S. Capitol Police said they made a total of 35 arrests for crowding, obstructing or incommoding, which included 17 members of Congress. Protesters had perched themselves on First Street NE near the Capitol building, blocking the street. Capitol Police said they issued their standard three warnings before beginning the arrests. 

A spokesperson for Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts also confirmed multiple arrests of members of Congress, and said Pressley was among those arrested. Pressley's communications director Ricardo Sánchez said her arrest was an act of "non-violent civil disobedience." Rep. Katherine Clark, the Democratic assistant speaker of the House, was also arrested. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney's office also announced she was among the Democratic Women's Caucus members arrested near the Supreme Court. 

Congress members detained during abortion rights protest in Washington
Representatives Andy Levin (D-MI) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are detained during an abortion rights protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 19, 2022. SARAH SILBIGER / REUTERS

"There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care," Maloney said in a statement after arrest, according to her office. "I have the privilege of representing a state where reproductive rights are respected and protected — the least I can do is put my body on the line for the 33 million women at risk of losing their rights. 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. Their ultimate goal is to institute a national ban on abortion. We will not let them win. We will be back."

A spokesperson for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confirmed she was among those arrested.

Abortion rights supporters — and those opposed to abortion rights — have been demonstrating near the Supreme Court since the court's decision to strike down abortion protections under Roe nearly a month ago. The court ruled that abortion is not a constitutional right.

Democrats are hoping to enshrine abortion access protections into law, but such a measure lacks support in the Senate under current rules. 

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