RECAP: Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt

PREFACE:

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.

[Tweet “This rally was not chaotic, disruptive, or violent; it was peaceful, it was respectful, it was graceful. “]

“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.

[Tweet “It is truly thrilling to be part of a community of women that leads with kindness and compassion for everyone.”]

1 2 3

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.

I am one of the 99% of women who have used birth control. It's my business, not politicians.

I am one of the 99% of women who have used birth control. It’s my business, not politicians.

Previous Post Next Post

Where to next?

  • Kayleigh

    Such a controversial and interesting topic to cover. Oklahoma just passed a bill where they will teach children about the pro life movement, leaning towards pro life and against birth control.
    http://www.kayleighskloset.com

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Kayleigh! Wow, that to me is pretty crazy. President Obama announced recently that he will no longer fun abstinence-only sex education so I am curious to see how Oklahoma will do this. Honest and applicable sex ed is so important and its really sad that Oklahoma won’t give kids access to this! Here’s a little more info on the sex ed funding from Obama if you’re interested: https://www.yahoo.com/news/obama-removed-federal-funding-abstinence-211600567.html

  • Wow, these photos are incredible. I feel like I was there!

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Elana, thank you so much! :]

  • Lauren Ashley

    This is such a controversial topic, but great coverage! I’m Catholic so my views are a little different!

    xx
    Lauren

    The Fashionista’s Diary

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Lauren! Thanks for commenting. I totally respect your views; thanks for sharing a little about your stance!

  • Such an incredible event for you to take part in. I couldn’t imagine how amazing it was to be a part of something so large. I am eager to find out the outcome of this case! And like I said, I kept looking for you on all of the media coverage, and was supper bummed when I couldn’t find you among everyone else!

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Tiffani, I WISH I would’ve been on TV! That would’ve been so cool. Thanks so much for commenting – and searching for me :] I am eager to hear the outcome as well, they won’t release the decision until June :/ That seems SO far away.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you, for taking part in this! I lived in a pretty conservative area for a couple years and it’s been really upsetting to see how hard they make it for women who have unwanted pregnancies. The loss of these clinics would make it even more difficult for so many women (especially those with lower income or in more rural communities) to be able to obtain health care.

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Farrah, thank you SO much for commenting. I was a little nervous sharing how I felt about this case on the blog so thank you for reaching out and sharing your views. Coming from a state in the Bible Belt, its extremely frustrating to listen to others discuss women’s health and reproductive rights and most people are SO close minded. I don’t think those close minded people can anticipate or comprehend how shutting down these clinics will harm women and cause some truly deadly damage. A sign at the rally read, “Making abortion illegal doesn’t stop abortions, it stops SAFE abortions.”

      Again, thanks for commenting! I seriously appreciate it.

  • Ashley

    Sounds like you had a pretty great experience! Great coverage of the event!

    xo Ashley

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks Ashley! Hope you have a great Sunday!

  • This is awesome! I love the “abortion yassss” sign hahahahah

    • Savannah Ward

      IKR?! Some signs were also SO inappropriate but hilarious. I couldn’t share all of the signs on here, I would’ve had to add a NSFW tag!

  • Great photos to document this!

    • Savannah Ward

      Thanks Bella! :]

  • That’s awesome that you held true to your convictions

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Morgan, thanks so much! I think its really important to be involved in any issues you feel passionately about because involvement, even if its small, could truly make a difference. Hope you had a great weekend! :]

  • I am glad you were able to voice your opinion. We should all be allowed to express ourselves and other should respect the opinions.
    Marly
    http://www.girlylove.org

    • Savannah Ward

      Hey Marly, thanks so much for commenting and I agree 100%! Even if someone’s views don’t align with mine, I always want to hear their side and how they came to believe what they do. Its always so interesting so hear other people’s stories and I wish more people respected others differences. Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

  • What an amazing opportunity to be a part of something so majorly important. A peaceful rally really makes a lot more of an impact than if chaos ensued! You go girl for making a stand and expressing your beliefs. I am very impressed with your post. You were so eloquent and passionate!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  • Allison Ellzey

    What an opportunity! Looks like you had fun!

  • sami moore

    This sounds like an incredible experience. I am so glad I got to read about it through your eyes.

    Thank you for sharing!!

    XO,
    Sami
    sparkleandshinesami.com

  • Very controversial topic, but it was interesting to read your thoughts on it and see your coverage of the event.

  • Sara Kate Steadman

    Go you for being so transparent about where you stand and for going to this! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Xo,
    http://sarakatestyling.blogspot.com