Two congresswomen from the Bay Area were among 17 members of Congress and 35 people overall who were arrested Tuesday afternoon in an abortion rights protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, were among those arrested as part of a group of demonstrators who were blocking a street near the Supreme Court building,
They were arrested on suspicion of crowding, obstructing or incommoding, according to U.S. Capitol Police.
The protest comes after last month’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which gave constitutional protections for pregnant people seeking an abortion across the nation and prompting some states to quickly ban abortions.
Lee wrote on social media in a post that shared photos, “One has a moral responsibility to push back against unjust laws. Today, I am standing up for reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy with the millions who have had their rights stripped away by inhumane policies.”
Speier wrote on Twitter, “I’ve never been arrested before but I can hear the late congressman John Lewis imploring me to get in good trouble. We must be willing to speak out for patients who have the right to health care, and the fundamental right to bodily autonomy.”
Other members of Congress arrested included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, who shared on social media that Lee was the first person arrested at Tuesday’s demonstration and that the members of Congress made it back in time for votes on bills later in the day.