Supporters of Roe v. Wade protest, march at the Arizona Capitol; 2 arrested

A group called Radical Women Phoenix planned the protest on Tuesday nighit.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:29 PM MST|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 9:18 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - More than a thousand people gathered at the Arizona Capitol in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday to show their support for Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion in the United States. A group called Radical Women Phoenix planned the protest and posted about the rally on its Instagram. After several speakers got the group riled up, they took to the streets and started marching north on the sidewalk. “‘Ho ho, hey hey, Roe v. Wade is here to stay!’ some of them shouted. Others chanted, “Hell no, Roe can’t go!” and “my body my choice!”

The group headed north of 17th Avenue with Department of Public Safety troopers helping with traffic. Everyone stayed on the sidewalk as they marched. “Abortion is a human right” and “abortion is health care” are some of what the signs said. The marchers then headed west on Van Buren Street before going south on 19th Avenue, making a loop around the state capitol area. They feel like they need to fight for their reproductive rights. “Most women, like the reason they turn to abortion is because they’re going through things a lot of people wouldn’t understand because they haven’t been through themselves. But stopping abortion and making it illegal makes us criminals if we were to do something for our safety, for our body,” said Kelaih Martinez, a demonstrator.

A small group of anti-abortion activists arrived and held up signs as well. Once the marching ended, there were a few shouting matches between the two sides of the abortion debate. It appears two people were taken into custody after a brief fight. Bart Graves with the Department of Public Safety says two men were arrested. Graves said 20-year-old Jace Robert Denis was booked for disorderly conduct and 33-year-old Matthew Merritt Graham was booked for disorderly conduct and assault.

DPS says 20-year-old Jace Robert Denis (left) and 33-year-old Matthew Merritt Graham (right)...
DPS says 20-year-old Jace Robert Denis (left) and 33-year-old Matthew Merritt Graham (right) were arrested at the protest on Tuesday night.(MCSO)

The protest was in response to an early draft leaked to POLITICO from the U.S. Supreme Court which showed the high court would strike the historic case. The draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito. The court’s public affairs office confirmed the document published by Politico is “authentic,” but stressed that “it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”