A lengthy Midtown protest on Wednesday night proved that the rage over the Supreme Court’s reversal of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights continues to boil with intense heat.
The June 29 demonstration saw an angry, demonstrative crowd bearing protest signs and unbridled contempt during their picket outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and later the University Club of New York, where the arch-conservative Federalist Society met.
Police had barricaded St. Patrick’s and stood guard in anticipation of the demonstration. The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), one of the evening’s protest organizers, explained they picketed the 164-year-old religious site, as well as other conservative organizations, due to their alleged support for overturning Roe v. Wade.
“At tonight’s march, we’ll speak to the role conservative institutions play in shaping the culture and politics, along with the role St. Patrick’s had played in funding ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’ These centers purposefully deceive those when they are seeking help for unwanted pregnancy,” part of a statement DSA shared on their Instagram account.
At the rally, women and their male supporters roared: “F**k the church, f**k the state, women will decide our fate!”
Those demanding freedom over their autonomy were not the only ones looking to have their voices heard. A small band of religious counter-protesters brandished rosaries, with one woman even falling to her knees and praying.
The act of piety did little to dissuade their rivals. Abortion rights advocates continued to chant, calling pro-life supporters murderers, which led to one counter-protester to plug her ears with her fingers.
The picketers then swiftly turned their attention to the University Club of New York, a premiere, private social club located at 54th Street and Fifth Avenue which hosted an evening conference with the Federalist Society and New York City Lawyers Chapter entitled, “One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General” featuring keynote speaker former Trump-era U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr.
The protesters said they wanted to make wealthy SCOTUS supporters feel what women seeking abortions experience during pickets outside Planned Parenthood. Demonstrators attempted to block those from entering and even yelled for them to “Turn back!”
The University Club’s rules of decorum didn’t apply, as some individuals walking into the Federalist Society event were bombarded by protesters flipping them the bird.
The doormen of the University Club of New York begged for police support, and the NYPD formed a line outside the building in an attempt to quell the chaos.
Following an hour of picketing, the protesters concluded their march in Central Park near the West 60th Street entrance, where they pledged to continue the fight for reproductive rights.