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Photos: Tucsonans crowd Downtown to protest Supreme Court's abortion decision

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More than 1,000 people packed sidewalks at the intersection of Congress and Grande Ave. to protest the Supreme Court's decision to undermine Roe v. Wade—the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in the U.S. - Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

More by Paul Ingram

More than 1,000 people packed sidewalks at the intersection of Congress and S. Granada Ave. on Friday to protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade—the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in the U.S.

Most of the demonstrators stationed themselves on the plaza in front of the U.S. District Courthouse at 405 W. Congress Street, behind a series of orange barriers set up by Tucson Police earlier in the afternoon. But the crowd soon swelled, filling all four corners of the intersection, including the medians, before finally spilling into the streets and blocking traffic.

As drivers honked, dozens of people—largely young women—refused to move, and protestors poured into the intersection before deciding to march through Downtown. The crowd first headed west, walking along Congress beneath Interstate 10 before they turned south and looped back to the intersection in front of the courthouse via Cushing.

This Tucson protest and two others scheduled for last night were among of dozens across the nation as reactions over the court's decision split between cheers over the end of abortion, and a furious response linked to demands of legislative action to protect abortion. At the same time, organizers for Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom took the opportunity to get people to sign a petition for a constitutional amendment to protect abortion in Arizona.

The group has until July 7 to collect more than 356,000 signatures to get the amendment on November's ballot.

The crowd then decided to march east, moving along Congress and continuing to stall traffic.

The three protests were scheduled Friday morning following the announcement the Supreme Court justices—led by Justice Samuel Alito—ruled in favor of Mississippi in a case about abortion rights. However, Alito and four of the court's conservative justices went even further, ruling that Roe v. Wade, and a following decision known as Casey, were wrongly decided. Chief Justice John Roberts tried to reign in the court, but failed.

Meanwhile, Justice Brett Kavanaugh tried to limit the decision's effect on a series of other cases based around the constitutional right to privacy, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion the court should consider challenges to those cases as well, putting not only the right to contraception on the table, but also the right to engage in consensual sexual acts, and gay marriage.

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There are signs that 26 states, including Arizona, will seek to block abortion. In March, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that made it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even if the patient was a victim of incest or rape. The new law is suppose to take effect in September, however, observers are unsure if a pre-Roe v. Wade law will come back into effect, making abortion completely illegal in Arizona.

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