I understand that this post discusses a controversial topic (abortion). These pictures contain posters and slogans from people attending the rally for the Whole Womans Health v Hellerstedt case in Washington, DC on March 2. They may include controversial or explicit language. I respect your views 100% whether or not they align with mine; please know I am very proud and SO excited to share mine on my blog. I would love to hear your take on this case, even if you have to respectfully disagree!
Yesterday, March 2, I was part of history. I stood on the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States and fought for a case; a case that is the biggest in women’s reproductive health since Roe v Wade in 1973.
For those of you that don’t know, the case was Whole Womans Health v Hellerstedt. The Center for Reproductive Rights defines the case as one “regarding a deceptive Texas law designed to shut down more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Center for Reproductive Rights is representing medical caregivers in their efforts to ensure women’s access to safe and legal abortion care.”
There are silly little rules put in place to make operating a clinic that also performs abortions impossible – like how wide the hallways should be, the number of parking spaces in the parking lot, etc. Ridiculous regulations!
We took a bus with Planned Parenthood at 2am and drove through the early morning to arrive on the Supreme Court steps at 9am, when the rally began. The atmosphere was incredible. The adrenaline was overflowing. The confidence was contagious! I could barely see speakers over the array of signs, posters, and props. But I didn’t mind.
This rally was not chaotic, disruptive, or violent; it was peaceful, it was respectful, it was graceful. This rally was not solely about abortion; this rally was about extending equal healthcare rights and access to women as we have provided healthcare rights and access to men. Abortion is included in these rights because it is a federal, human, constitutional right.
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“Going into Wednesday’s argument, it was already clear that the Justices disagreed deeply about the enforcement of the Texas law. The Court split five to four in last June in limiting enforcement of the law, and the line-up then was quickly evident by comments and questions from the bench by all of the Justices (except Justice Clarence Thomas, who did not say anything)” shares a report from the Supreme Court blog.
It was so great to stand in support of Texas and empower the women that are being struck by such a manipulating and dehumanizing law.
We heard many empowering voices. We listened to a physician from California speak on abortion access. We listened to the director of “Trapped”, a movie chronicling a woman’s struggle with reproductive rights, share her inspiration and call for help (pictured above). We cheered and cried and jumped when the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, closed the rally and motivated us to never stop pushing for equality and safe healthcare for women everywhere.
Whether or not you agree with abortion as a constitutional right or the court case should be placed aside when viewing these pictures of women AND men coming together to lift each other up with purpose, respect, and positivity. While we are brave and we do not stop when obstacles to achieving equal health access are placed in our path, we are not violent and we are resilient. It is truly thrilling to be part of a community of women that leads with kindness and compassion for everyone.
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So, what happens now? “The Justices will cast at least a preliminary vote on the case when they assemble on Friday morning for a private Conference.” (from the SCOTUS blog) If the case is sent back to lower courts, the law still stands and women for Texas will be deprived of their federal right to an abortion and also struggle to obtain remaining reproductive resources. This is HUGE. This is DEVASTATING. This is DEBILITATING. And this is so, so unfair.
I ask that you not stand by and watch as a constitutional right is stripped from the women in our country. I ask that you find a way to get involved within your community; attend rallies, fundraise, raise awareness. If you are unsure of the case and its detrimental consequences, please consider turning to Planned Parenthood, the SCOTUS blog, or The Center for Reproductive Rights to learn more information from creditable, trustworthy sources.