Following a landmark opinion overturning Roe v Wade, notorious ‘Squad’ member and Democratic Party’s congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) joined protests outside the US Supreme Court to call the institution “illegitimate” and urged supporters to begin battle on the streets to fight for abortion rights.
Pro-life and pro-abortion activists gathered outside the Supreme Court in anticipation of a ruling on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which a 6-3 majority voted to overturn Roe. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to a megaphone to voice her disapproval after the ruling was announced, spurring protests on to “a generational fight”.
It may be mentioned here that a recent Department of Homeland Security report warned about the rising likelihood of violence in the wake of the ruling. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the 27 House Democrats who recently opposed a bill that bolstered security measures for the justices, following protests outside their homes, and attempt of assassination and abduction. The legislation was held up in the House because Democrats had conditioned its passage on adding similar security for Court clerks.
Calls to pass the measure grew more urgent after an armed man was arrested outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier this month. The gunman later confessed to plans to assassinate the justice.
“The hell with the Supreme Court—we will defy them”, Rep. Maxine Waters (D. Calif) also told protesters. “Women will be in control of their bodies”.
“You see this out here?” Waters added, referencing the size of the protest outside the Court. “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.
Meanwhile, a coalition of 20 black congresswomen, led by “Squad” member Ayanna Pressley (D. Mass), on Thursday wrote a letter to President Joe Biden that urged him to declare a public health emergency in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
The congresswomen urged Joe Biden to use “any and all executive authorities” to work against the Court’s decision—including “declaring a public health emergency and national emergency”.
The Court’s decision does not prohibit abortion but rather returns the issue to the states, a majority of which allow the procedure. According to Gallup, just 5 percent of Americans consider abortion the most important issue facing the country, By contrast, 55 percent say that inflation under President Joe Biden is the most important issue.
The letter says that pro-life measures are “unprecedented and calculated attacks on our bodily autonomy” that harm “the lives and freedom of Black women”. While black women get more abortions than women of any other race, just 32 percent of black Americans support abortion on demand without restrictions, a Gallup poll found in 2020.
The letter’s call comes as threats of pro-abortion violence intensify against churches, pro-life organization, and Supreme Court justices.
Pressley was not the only prominent far-left Democrat to sign the letter. Fellow “Squad” members Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Cori Bush (Mo.), as well as Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass, also called for a post-Roe public health emergency.
Meanwhile, abortion advocates are spending millions of dollars to rally supporters before the midterm although some Democrats and their allies say it won’t be enough to bring success in November.
While pro-abortion advocacy groups like EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL have pledged a “historic” US$150 million in 2022, Democrats are cautioning against running on the issue. “Democrats can’t rely on one issue or one problem to change people’s minds,” said Nebraska state senator Megan Hunt, when asked about the 2022 elections. Democratic pollster Josh Ulibarri also doubts abortion advocacy will usher in Democratic victories due to inflation, rising costs, and supply-chain problems.
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