Rep. Omar arrested at U.S Capitol abortion rally

People speak during a large rally outside.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar condemns efforts to strip away peoples autonomy during an abortion rights march and protest at the Minnesota State Capitol on July 17.
Tim Evans for MPR News

Minnesota U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar was arrested, along with 17 other members of Congress, during a demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

Omar was participating in a civil disobedience action outside the Court over its recent decision to end constitutional protections for abortion.

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50 year ruling of Roe v. Wade. In Minnesota, abortion remains legal under the 1995 decision of Doe v. Gomez.

On Sunday, thousands marched in St. Paul for abortion rights at a rally organized by UnRestrict Minnesota.

Rep. Omar was in attendance and condemned the efforts being made to strip abortion access across the county.

“We are lucky abortion remains legal in Minnesota. In fact, we are surrounded by states where abortion is now illegal or will be soon,” she said. “Let me be clear, just like in Congress, they can go away in the blink of an eye.”

The members of Congress were arrested for violating a law against crowding and obstructing public sidewalks and roadways. The U.S. Capitol Police tweeted that demonstrators, including Omar, blocked traffic and it is “against the law to block traffic.”

In a press release Omar said she will continue to defend reproductive rights.

“Our reproductive rights are under assault across the country, thanks to an extremist court with little regard for precedent or our basic rights. I will do whatever it takes, including putting my body on the line, to protect our reproductive rights."

The Minnesota GOP issued a statement criticizing Omar, calling her actions “reckless and lawless.”

“Constituents of Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District deserve a member of Congress that is focused on the critical issues affecting their lives, like rampant violent crime, rising inflation, failing schools, and more,” Republican Party of Minnesota Communications Director Nick Majerus wrote. “Instead, Ilhan Omar is more interested in cheap stunts that score political points.”

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