Jun 27, 2022 - News

Protesters fill Philadelphia streets weekend after Roe v. Wade ruling

Illustration of a small blue megaphone against a red background.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Protests against the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade erupted across Pennsylvania and the nation over the weekend.

  • Political candidates in the state responded with vows to either protect or curtail abortion access ahead of the November election.

Driving the news: At least 1,000 people protested against Roe's reversal outside Philadelphia City Hall Friday evening, blocking parts of Market Street downtown.

  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor, hosted a pro-abortion rights rally at the city's National Constitution Center Saturday that drew hundreds.

What they're saying: "I will not let our daughters grow up in a world where they have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had in Pennsylvania," Shapiro said in a statement Friday.

  • He's promised to "veto any bill that would restrict abortion rights," if elected governor.

The other side: Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, released a statement Friday, saying that "Roe v. Wade is rightly relegated to the ash heap of history," CBS3 reports.

  • "As the abortion debate returns to the states, Pennsylvania must be prepared to lead the nation in being a voice for the voiceless," said Mastriano, who's pledged to completely ban abortions after a "fetal heartbeat" is detected, as early as six weeks.

Zoom in: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner called on district attorneys in all 66 counties across the Commonwealth to protect reproductive rights and to not criminalize patients or medical providers.

  • "Women and others who can become pregnant are being bullied and marginalized by their own government," Krasner said in a statement Friday. "I will uphold my oath now and forever to protect them, their humanity, and their rights."
  • Krasner also ordered his office's Special Investigations Unit to monitor and investigate any potential threats against abortion providers and patients in the state.

The big picture: Assaults against abortion clinic staff and patients rose 128% in 2021 from 2020, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez reports.

  • There was also a 600% increase in stalking and an 80% increase of bomb threats.

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