'Day Without Us' protesters walk out over abortion-rights reversal, days before Supreme Court returns

Key Points
  • People across the United States skipped work on Friday in protest of the Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion.
  • The "Day Without Us" event comes days before the start of the next term.
  • Partner organizations include the Movement for Black Lives, Move On, the Women's March and the Working Families Party.
  • The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, ending the federal right to terminate pregnancies.
An abortion rights protester participates in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked Supreme Court opinion suggesting the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, in Houston, Texas, May 14, 2022.
Callaghan O'hare | Reuters

People across the United States skipped work on Friday for a "Day Without Us" protest of the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the federal constitutional right to an abortion.

Organized by a group of Black women leaders, national teach-ins are being held online starting at 11:30 a.m. ET, hosted by actress and singer Naturi Naughton, with in-person gatherings in cities including Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago and Oakland, California.

The event coincides with the 46th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal Medicaid funding for abortion services.

And it also comes days before the next Supreme Court term, which begins Monday.

Two of the organizers, Leslie Mac and Tiffany Flowers, said the idea for the event was sparked by their dismay at the ruling in June in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

That decision reversed the federal right to abortion that had been protected since 1973 by the court's ruling in the case Roe v. Wade.

"I was on a text thread with other powerhouse Black women who were feeling really disappointed in our leaders — devastated, hurt, confused and unsure of what was next," said Flowers, campaign director for The Frontline, a progressive group.

"What could we do to meet the moment? Our motto is we don't agonize, we organize," she said.

Flowers and Mac brought together partner groups including the Movement for Black Lives, Move On, the Women's March, MomsRising Together, March for Our Lives and the Working Families Party.

Tracey Corder, who organized the partners for the event, said, "Day Without Us is for everybody — no matter your identity — because we are all inherently worthy of bodily autonomy."

"Every attack on our economic, political and human rights is an attack on our collective freedom, and the fall of Roe is one part of a larger project of oppression," Corder said.

More than 60% of Americans disapprove of the Dobbs ruling, according to a NBC News poll released earlier this month.

While reproductive rights is the focus of the event, organizers say it also is being held to support progressive causes including climate change, access to housing and labor rights.

The event is for "everybody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired!" the website reads.

"This is an invitation," Flowers said. "Both online and at local pop-ups, this all-day event will serve as a space for people to connect with each other and to connect the dots about our shared struggles. The doors of the movement are wide open and reproductive justice is the pathway forward."