Updated May 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Protests erupt outside Supreme Court after leaked draft on Roe v. Wade

Pro-abortion rights protesters gather outside the Supreme Court late Monday.
Pro-abortion rights protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., late on May 2. Photo: Catherine Buchaniec

Demonstrators rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court over Monday night after a leaked draft document first published by Politico indicated the justices were preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion ruling.

The big picture: As abortion rights advocates planned to hold protests across the U.S. on Tuesday, about 200 demonstrators gathered in front of barricades at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., late Monday. Most were pro-abortion rights protesters. A small group of anti-abortion demonstrators was also present.

Why it matters: Overturning the 1973 ruling would make abortion immediately illegal in at least 13 states, per Axios' Oriana Gonzalez.

Zoom in: Outside the Supreme Court, pro-abortion rights protesters were shouting "abortion is health care" and other chants into Tuesday morning.

  • Police were on the scene amid tense exchanges between pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion demonstrators early Tuesday.

What they're saying: Kate Henjes, a trans woman, was among those leading chants in front of the steps of the Supreme Court.

  • "I'm a transgender woman I know what it's like for my rights to be stripped away," the 18-year-old told Axios. "And so I'm standing here with all women who have had abortions or may have abortions in the future for their rights."

What to watch: The Women's March announced it was holding pro-abortion rights demonstrations outside local federal and town buildings across the U.S. "at 5pm your local time" on Tuesday.

  • "We’re horrified, saddened, and livid," the group tweeted. "If you are too, then now is the time to show up and show them our movement won't back down from protecting our reproductive rights."

Meanwhile, the Party for Socialism and Liberation vowed in a tweet to "take to the streets in cities across the country" on Tuesday, including in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In photos: Protesters rally outside Supreme Court
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on May 2.
Demonstrators outside the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, May 2.
A group of mostly pro-abortion rights protesters outside the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
 A pro-choice protester, left, and an anti-abortion protesters clash in front of the Supreme Court after news broke that Roe V. Wade is set to be overturned in Washington, D.C. on May 2
A pro-abortion rights protester (L) and an anti-abortion protester have a heated exchange in front of the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Police at the scene of the protest outside the Supreme Court.
Police at the scene of the protest outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Sophia Cai/Axios
Tamika Turner protests in front of the Supreme Court.
Tamika Turner protests in front of the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Sophia Cai/Axios
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., early on Tuesday, May 3.
Demonstrators hold placards as they chant slogans outside the Supreme Court early on May 3. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A crowd of mostly pro-abortion rights protesters gathers outside the Supreme Court late Monday.
A crowd of mostly pro-abortion rights protesters outside the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Sophia Cai/Axios
A women cries while kneeling in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 2
A women cries while kneeling in front of the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Pro-choice protesters rally in front of the Supreme Court after news broke that Roe V. Wade is set to be overturned in Washington, D.C. on May 2
Pro-abortion rights protesters rally in front of the Supreme Court on May 2. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Elizabeth Norsworthy, 24, chanting: “Hands off my body!”
Elizabeth Norsworthy, 24, chanting: "Hands off my body!" early on May 3. Photo: Sophia Cai/Axios

Julia Shapero contributed reporting.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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