Abortion rights protests resume Saturday across Los Angeles

Hundreds of protesters rallied in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday morning, the first in a day of protests and demonstrations across the region denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision to end a constitutional abortion right.

More than 200 people had gathered in Grand Park — the heart of downtown’s civic center — by mid-morning, and dozens were singing “My body, my choice” on the steps of City Hall. Signs waved by protesters declared, “You ban only safe abortions” and “I’m a woman, watch me vote.”

“What do we want?” An organizer shouted, and the crowd, mostly women, answered in unison, “Rights!”

Rally attendance was expected to ramp up by 1 p.m. when a concert, rally and march titled “Rock for Abortion Rights” is scheduled to begin outside the nearby US Courthouse on 1st Street. Another protest is scheduled for 12 p.m. outside the Federal Building in Westwood.

The move by the conservative majority of the Supreme Court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling immediately followed a leaked draft of the ruling published by Politico this spring. Still, Friday’s decision released shocked and saddened results across Southern California.

“I felt like we were going backwards,” said Therese Zipperman, 33, of her reaction to the verdict. “I worried about my future – the future of women.”

Hundreds marched through downtown Los Angeles holding signs and banners that read: "Post Roe Hell No."

Hundreds marched through downtown Los Angeles on Friday protesting the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

(Care Dorhalli/Los Angeles Times)

Zipperman drove from her Burbank residence on Saturday to join protesters in downtown LA, where women were chanting, “Two-four-six-eight, separate church and state.”

For Zipperman, attending the rally was a way to fight back, along with voting and supporting organizations working for abortion rights. Congress, she said, should legalize abortion nationwide: “Legal, accessible, and affordable” and call it “essential health care.”

In the hours following the release of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Southern California, expressing outrage, frustration and sadness.

Crowds poured into downtown LA from Friday morning until just before midnight, gathering in Pershing Square and in front of the courthouse on 1st Street. Several marched on the 110 Freeway and later the 101 Freeway, temporarily blocking traffic.

After dark, protesters continued chanting and marching downtown, and at 9 p.m. the Los Angeles Police Department declared an unlawful gathering, with officers in riot gear forming battle lines and warning protesters to leave or face arrest.

Crowds protesting the Supreme Court's overthrow of Roe vs. Wade marched down the 110 freeway, temporarily blocking traffic.

Crowds protesting the Supreme Court decision to overthrow Roe vs. Wade marched down the 110 freeway on Friday, temporarily blocking traffic.

(Care Dorhalli/Los Angeles Times)

Times reporters were turned away and not allowed to watch any arrests or arrests.

At least one person was arrested after people threw firecrackers and other objects at officers near 5th and Main Street, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.

The vast majority of the protesters were peaceful, but “a much smaller group of individuals took to the streets with intent to create chaos and destruction,” Moore told The Times.

This story will be updated.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-06-25/more-abortion-rights-activists-expected-to-protest-today-in-los-angeles Abortion rights protests resume Saturday across Los Angeles

Alley Einstein

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