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Bay Area Reps. Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier arrested in D.C. along with A.O.C. during pro-abortion-rights protest

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Bay Area Reps. Barbara Lee and Jackie Speier were arrested Tuesday outside the U.S. Supreme Court alongside 15 other lawmakers protesting the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Spokespeople for both women confirmed they were among those arrested. Both have been vocal advocates for abortion rights and have talked publicly about getting abortions themselves.

Lee has talked about receiving a “back-alley” abortion in Mexico when she was a teenager. That was in the 1960s, before the Supreme Court ruled in the Roe decision that women nationwide had a right to an abortion.

The court rolled back those rights last month, overturning Roe and sparking waves of protests across the country.

“One has a moral responsibility to push back against unjust laws,” Lee, an Oakland Democrat, said in a statement released on her Instagram, alongside a photo of a police officer escorting her away from the Supreme Court building. “Today, I am standing up for reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy in solidarity with the millions who have had their rights stripped away by inhumane policies.”

Speier, D-San Mateo, became the first lawmaker to discuss having an abortion on the floor of Congress in 2011, Politico reported. She had the procedure because of a miscarriage.

“I’ve never been arrested before but I can hear the late congressman John Lewis imploring me to get in good trouble,” she wrote on Twitter. “We must be willing to speak out for patients who have the right to health care, and the fundamental right to bodily autonomy.”

U.S. Capitol Police announced on Twitter they arrested 35 people during the demonstration, including 17 members of Congress, for blocking traffic in the street outside the court.

Other members of Congress arrested included Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-New York, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota.

Sean Ryan, a spokesperson for Lee, said she was processed and released quickly and that he wasn’t aware of any specific charges against her, beyond just standard processing for a protester.

Sophia Bollag is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: sophia.bollag@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @SophiaBollag


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