Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) was arrested Thursday for participating in an abortion rights protest outside the U.S. Capitol within the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Chu was amongst 181 people the Capitol Police arrested for “for blocking the intersection of Structure Avenue, NE and First Street, NE,” which can be near the Supreme Court.
UPDATE: We arrested 181 people for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (DC Code § 22–1307) for blocking the intersection of Structure Avenue, NE and First Street, NE.
The intersection reopened at roughly 1:20 p.m.
— U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) June 30, 2022
“When I believe of all these women — and more — the choice to hitch in a peaceful demonstration to clarify we is not going to allow the clock to be rolled back on abortion rights was easy,” Chu said in an announcement. “We’re on this together and we is not going to back down or be silenced.”
The choice to march today was easy—I got here out to march for the young rape survivor, the girl who cannot afford to travel to a different state to access critical care, the mother with an ectopic pregnancy whose life is in peril.
I got here out to march for all of us. pic.twitter.com/JpkKszmdBG
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) June 30, 2022
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) is detained by U.S. Capitol Police for participating in a protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the last day of their term on June 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images
The protest was organized by the Center for Popular Democracy Motion and Planned Parenthood Motion Fund, in line with The Washington Post. It comes nearly per week after the high court delivered its verdict on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case centered around a Mississippi law banning abortion at 15 weeks.
The justices decided to overturn each Roe and a subsequent case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, effectively taking away Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion.
Activists and Democratic lawmakers are pushing for other steps to guard abortion rights.
“Every major right now we have on this country — voting or women’s rights — got here about due to protests,” Chu told the Post in an interview. “That’s what modified things in America for the higher.”
Chu sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which might codify access to abortion. While the bill cleared the House in September 2021, it failed within the Senate.
President Joe Biden on Thursday said he supports an “exception” to the filibuster for codifying Roe, which Democrats, including Chu, have been calling for.
“I think now we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law and the option to try this is to ensure Congress votes to try this,” Biden told reporters in Madrid, where he was attending a NATO summit.
“And if the filibuster gets in the way in which — it’s like voting rights — we should always be requiring an exception to the filibuster for this motion to cope with the Supreme Court decision,” Biden continued.
Meanwhile, the fight on abortion has moved to the states. A Florida judge on Thursday decided to dam a controversial 15-week abortion ban, saying it “violates the privacy provision of the Florida structure.”