Police use tear gas against abortion rights protesters outside the Arizona Capitol

Police used tear gas to disperse people protesting the overthrow of Roe v. Wade Friday night at the Arizona Senate Building after some of them knocked on the glass doors, an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

The protest in Phoenix was one of many nationwide protests that took place after the Supreme Court overturned the half-century precedent of Roe v. Wade who protected access to abortion care in the United States. The decision leaves decisions about abortion access to the states.

Video shared on Twitter by Republican State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita from inside the building shows protesters with signs chanting outside the gates of the State Capitol and knocking on glass doors. Some lawmakers were inside, working on the legislation.

Tear gas was deployed around 8:30 p.m. from the second floor of the building, the Arizona Republic reported. Hundreds of protesters retreated as tear gas wafted around the Capitol grounds. Lawmakers inside the building could smell tear gas, according to Democratic State Representative Sarah Liguori.

Video shared on Twitter shows the crowd fleeing as police fire tear gas at them from the windows of the building.

Protesters marched to Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in downtown Phoenix. Police used tear gas again after a monument was vandalized. The crowd left the area and police blocked access to the Capitol grounds.

It is not known whether any arrests have been made. The Arizona Department of Security did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Republican State Senator Kelly Townsend claims lawmakers were “held hostage” inside the building due to protesters at the gates. She then tweeted that everyone was fine and continuing with their work.

The legal status of abortion in Arizona is currently unclear. Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, have suspended abortions in the state pending legal clarity. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says a new anti-abortion law will go into effect in 90 days. But there are competing laws on the books and it’s unclear which law would prevail.

Nationwide protests against the Supreme Court ruling are expected to continue throughout the weekend, with events planned by Bans Off Our Bodies, Women’s March and NARAL.

Learn more about the Supreme Court decision on abortion:



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