The U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade and allows states to set their own course on abortion laws.
How this will impact Arizonans is yet to be determined.
The state has two laws on the books banning abortion, one that’s from 158 years ago and another brand new one. It is unclear which ban will prevail. Experts told The Arizona Republic that we can expect an immediate challenge to the state’s anti-abortion laws, as well as a direct or implied Threat of Prosecution for abortion providers.
Uncertainty over the future of abortion rights in the state is pushing many to organize across the U.S. As of Friday morning, demonstrators have already gathered outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, either in support or in protest of the court’s decision.
In Arizona, several protests are planned for Friday, with the largest occurring in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson.
Follow coverage of the reaction to the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade by Republic Reporters here.
10:45 pm Friday: One window broke at state building
After the Protesters had largely dispersed in downtown Phoenix, one person broke a window at the state Department of Agriculture building on Adams Street, while others booed the person for doing so.
Clouds of tear gas lingered Heavily in the Courtyard between the Arizona Senate and the House of Representatives buildings, preventing anyone from entering the area.
Samantha McClintock, 26, and Ryan Wullf, 31, both of Phoenix, arrived late to the Roe Protest and were in the crowd that was hit with tear gas. They got a crowd had gathered between the House and Senate buildings and some Protesters were banging on the glass doors and windows of the Senate. They didn’t know the Legislature was in session at the time.
By 9:30 pm, crowds had left the area after police declared it an unlawful assembly.
Neither Phoenix Police Department nor Arizona Department of Public Safety has responded to requests for comment. It is unclear whether police arrested anyone in connection to the Protest.
Protests in Flagstaff and Tucson remained Mostly peaceful. No incidents with law enforcement were reported in Flagstaff. In Tucson, police blocked off traffic from Protesters demonstrating downtown. No arrests were reported.
9:30 pm Friday: Unlawful assembly at downtown Phoenix Rally
At approximately 8:30 p.m., a bloc of protesters gathered outside the Arizona Senate building and chanted, “We won’t go back!” to a handful of onlookers inside.
When the demonstrators began hitting the glass walls and doors of the building, SWAT officers deployed tear gas to disperse the crowd. One protester was seen breaking a window before others yelled at him to stop.
Minutes later, law enforcement officials declared an unlawful assembly.
House members could be seen taking Refuge in the House lobby as a cloud of tear gas hung in the air.
Hours earlier, several thousand demonstrators had marched through downtown Phoenix for the Women’s March in front of the Arizona Capitol. The Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Phoenix branch of Radical Women also had planned to be protesting.
– Perry Vandell and Ray Stern
8:40 pm: Senate calls recess, cites security Threat
Senate President Karen Fann abruptly called a recession to Senate work and evacuated lawmakers and staff to the Senate basement after Protesters attending a Rally after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade pounded on Senate windows and doors.
“We have a security Threat outside,” Fann said, trying to hurry along a handful of public-school supporters who had unfurled a banner expressing their disgust with the Senate’s approval of universal vouchers.
People soon returned to the Senate floor, including guests who had been seated in the Senate’s gallery to watch the voucher vote.
– Mary Jo Pitzl
8 pm Friday: ‘It’s very murky water’: Traffic blocked at downtown Tucson Protest
About 1,000 demonstrators gathered in downtown Tucson, pouring onto Congress Street and blocking traffic.
“We don’t know what the future of abortion looks like in Arizona. It’s very murky water, ”said Amy Fitch-Heacock. “As of today, all abortion care in the state of Arizona has ceased pending legal ramifications.”
Fitch-Heacock is one of the organizers of the Tucson Women’s March and the founder of Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom. She added that she believes this will become a “worst-case scenario very soon.”
“I fight because I know what happens to women who are denied abortion care… I fight because I know what happens to single Mothers who raise children alone Abandoned by the men who Promised to show up,” Fitch-Heacock said.
She asked people to sign petitions to enshrine abortion rights into the Arizona State Constitution.
“We are going to keep on fighting because the people who took our rights today are counting on us being too tired to fight back.”
At about 8 p.m., law enforcement officials began blocking traffic near the federal courthouse.
Vera Antranik, one of the thousands of people who attended the Phoenix Protest, described the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a blatant attack on health care and women’s rights.
“You’re not able to make decisions about your own body,” Antranik said. “I don’t think that crusty old men in the Supreme Court should have any say when they don’t understand what it’s like to go through that.”
Antranik asserted that those claiming to be “pro-life” care more about an Unborn fetus than a child’s well-being after they’re born and referenced the 19 elementary school children who were massacred in Uvalde, Texas.
– Sarah Lapidus
7:30 pm Friday: Thousands march in downtown Phoenix to protest
Several thousand demonstrators marched through downtown Phoenix. The Women’s March Protest was planned for 7 pm in front of the Arizona Capitol. The Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Phoenix branch of Radical Women also planned to protest at the same place and time.
In Tucson, the Women’s March chapter of the city drew nearly 300 demonstrators to the Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse.
“We need to show up in solidarity, and we need to show up at that ballot box,” said Faith Ramon with the Arizona Center for Empowerment.
About 5 miles east, about 50 people gathered at Reid Park, including Corinn Cooper with Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom.
“I’ve been fighting for women’s rights for 50 years,” Cooper said. “I did not expect this rights granted by the Constitution removed from women, and I, Frankly, worry that this damage will not be undone in my lifetime.”
At the Flagstaff Protest, petitions and voter registration forms were passed around the crowd with organizers encouraging people to translate their unhappiness into tangible change in the ballot box. One petition hopes to present Voters this fall with a ballot initiative for the right to an abortion to be codified in the Arizona Constitution.
Crowds began to Disperse after 6:30 pm after a march. No incidents with law enforcement were reported.
– Sarah Lapidus, Sam Burdette, Perry Vandell and Lacey Latch
7 pm Friday: ‘Even though it was expected, it’s still profoundly disturbing’
The dark Monsoon clouds Rolling in overhead did not deter more than 100 people who gathered on the south lawn of Flagstaff City Hall. Impassioned Protesters lined one of the cities’ main thoroughfares with signs and bullhorns campaigning for reproductive rights.
“Even though it was expected, it’s still profoundly disturbing,” Debra Block, one of the rally’s organizers, said of the court’s decision.
Block, like many of her counterparts in the long fight for reproductive rights, has been at this for decades.
She went to her first abortion rally in Detroit in the early 1970s. Years later, Block is now a mother fighting for her rights as well as her child’s.
“I should be done with this and I’m not,” Block said.
About half an hour after the Rally began, the group began to march through town and around the Courthouse before returning to City Hall and blocking traffic along historic Route 66 until being directed back onto the grass by police.
Cassidy Griffith and Charlotte Willin, two Northern Arizona University students, came to the Rally to show support for what they say is a healthcare issue.
“I believe abortion is health care,” Willin said. “I’m a public health major and I believe it’s a right that people should be able to have an abortion if they would like one.”
“It’s health care,” Griffith agreed. “I plan to be an OB / GYN, and I am going to fight until my dying days for them to have this right because it is their right no matter what and no one should stay in their way.”
“My Grandma grew up in the ’60s doing this, my mom grew up doing this and now I’m doing it,” Griffith said. “You know, three generations of women fighting for our rights to have bodily autonomy.”
– Lacey Latch
6:45 pm Friday: ‘I will always fight for them’
About 70 demonstrators gathered on either side of Congress Street in front of the Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse ahead of the Rally scheduled for 7 p.m.
Amy Fitch-Heacock is one of the organizers of the Tucson Women’s March and the founder of Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom. She says people in rural areas have already struggled to gain access to health care and abortion before today’s court decision.
“We have abortion providers Mostly in the cities. Rural health care across the United States has always been a challenge, ”Fitch-Heacock said. “Here in Arizona even though we don’t have an existing law that went into effect today, our abortion providers stopped providing abortions in anticipation of the legal challenges.”
Fitch-Heacock says she is a reproductive rights advocate because she knows what it’s like to not have access to abortion.
“This is not going to impact people who are in the Supreme Court. This isn’t going to impact the people who are in Congress, this will impact people who are already at a disadvantage, ”Fitch-Heacock said. “I will always fight for them and for myself.”
1 pm Friday: Protests planned for Phoenix, Tucson
Women’s March chapters in Phoenix and Tucson have planned protests in their respective cities on Friday night, and they are expected to be the largest in the State.
Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision Friday morning, ending a constitutional right to an abortion, protests are expected to occur across the US
As of Friday morning, demonstrators have already gathered outside the Supreme Court building in Washington,
In Phoenix, the Women’s March Protest is scheduled for 7 p.m. in front of the Arizona State Capitol. The Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Phoenix branch of Radical Women will also be protesting at the same place and time.
In Tucson, the Women’s March chapter of the city will host a protest at 7 p.m. in front of the U.S. District Court in downtown Tucson.
– Sam Burdette and Sarah Lapidus