(NewsNation) — Flyers advertising a “Night of Rage” were posted Friday throughout Washington, D.C., calling for people to “hit the streets” in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, but major abortion-rights groups have denounced threats of violence.
The D.C. Metro Police Department announced it will have a heavy presence around the Supreme Court for the next several days in the wake of Friday’s controversial ruling that removed federal protections for abortion nationwide.
In a joint statement issued Friday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Liberate Abortion Campaign distanced themselves from potential violent responses to the Supreme Court ruling.
“We reject the tactics and threats of groups that use destruction and violence as a means to an end,” the statement read. “They do not speak for us, our supporters, our communities, or our movement. We are committed to protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive freedoms through peaceful, non-violent organizing and activism.”
Attacks on groups from either side of the highly divisive issue have been ramping up in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision, especially since a draft of Friday’s opinion was leaked more than a month ago.
“The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has initiated a full departmental activation through Tuesday, June 28th to support demonstration,” the department said in a joint statement with the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.
Federal authorities are investigating a wave of attacks and fire-bombings on anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers across the country and a group called Jane’s Revenge, which is claiming responsibility.
“Americans’ freedom of speech and right to peacefully protest are fundamental Constitutional rights,” a DHS spokesperson told NewsNation. “Those rights do not extend to violence and other illegal activity. DHS will continue working with our partners across every level of government to share timely information and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.”
U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., called for a congressional investigation into Jane’s Revenge in a letter penned Thursday.
“We are concerned about increased violence on these kinds of pregnancy centers and faith-based institutions around the country,” Mace said.
President Biden spoke shortly after the ruling came down and called for only peaceful responses.
“We must stand against violence in any form,” Biden said. “Regardless of your rationale.”
The New York Times reported that Sens. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, wrote the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security and asked for additional security for the Supreme Court justices.
Some safeguards for abortion providers were already in place heading into Friday.
Fourteen states and Washington, D.C., prohibit certain actions aimed at abortion providers, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a women’s rights research nonprofit. Of those, three states have established bubble zones that limit protesters’ physical access to a clinic entrance or driveway.