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25 Jun, 2022 05:27

Pro-choice protesters teargassed outside Arizona Capitol

Activists earlier marched on the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix after the US Supreme Court struck down the right to abortion
Pro-choice protesters teargassed outside Arizona Capitol

Police fired volleys of teargas to disperse pro-choice protesters outside the state capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday night.

Video posted on social media appears to show officers firing teargas through the windows.

“Troopers deployed tear gas after a crowd of protesters repeatedly pounded on the glass doors of the State Senate Building,” Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson Bart Graves told CNN.

Several protests have been held across the US since the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing the right to abortions.

According to The Arizona Republic, some protesters were seen battering the glass walls and doors of the Capitol. One smashed a window, after which officials declared the assembly unlawful, the newspaper said.

Bart Graves told the local KTAR News radio station that one person was arrested. He added that several doors of the Arizona Senate building were damaged, and memorials were vandalized in Wesley Bolin Plaza.

Friday’s 6-3 Supreme Court ruling stemmed from a Mississippi case – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – which centered on the constitutionality of a state law banning abortions after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. In taking the case to the Supreme Court, the state explicitly sought the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.

In March, Arizona imposed a 15-week abortion ban, identical to the one in Mississipi.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has since welcomed the Supreme Court decision. “Attorneys General have a solemn responsibility to defend the most vulnerable among us, and that’s exactly what we did today,” he tweeted on Friday.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the Supreme Court made “the right decision” by striking down Roe v. Wade.