Seven Arrested as Protesters Clash with Anti-Abortion Rally on Boston Common

Tensions were high at Sunday's March for Life.

boston common

Photo via iStock/deebrowning

In the wake of alarming new restrictions on reproductive rights in several states, and amid perceived threats to the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, an anti-abortion rally on Boston Common was met with a passionate response on Sunday, and seven people were arrested in the chaos.

Booing, chanting “My body, my choice!” and waving signs and coat hangers, a crowd of more than 100 showed up to protest the March for Life, organized by the group Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Tensions were high when the opposing sides gathered at the Parkman Bandstand Sunday afternoon, and in a few cases, it looks like things got pretty heated.

Videos from the scene show protesters booing as anti-abortion activists led prayers and gave speeches through a microphone, leading chants that included the phrase “baby lives matter.” Later, clips posted online show police chasing after demonstrators, and eventually helping escort the pro-life group off the Common.


In the end, seven people were arrested. According to a Boston Police spokesman, one person is charged with assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct, inciting a riot, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on a person over 60; another is charged with assaulting a police officer and disturbing a public assembly, one is charged with disturbing the peace; one faces four counts of assault and battery with an “unidentified liquid”; and three others are charged with assaulting a police officer, interfering with a police officer, and disturbing a public assembly.

It was not clear whether those arrested were affiliated with either the pro-choice or pro-life demonstrators. No injuries were reported.

The anti-abortion rally’s organizers tell the Boston Globe the demonstration was not meant to be a celebration of the laws passed recently in Alabama or Missouri. Instead, the group says its focus is on local issues, including the so-called Roe Act, which would expand abortion access in the state.

Pro-choice activists also held a rally in front of the State House last month without incident.