On Wednesday, hundreds of activists on both sides of the abortion issue converged at the Supreme Court to protest as the court began hearing the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The Supreme Court case will test the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. For pro-choice activists, the law threatens Roe v Wade, which has protected abortion as a constitutional right since 1973.
“This is about controlling our bodies” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal outside the Supreme Court as the abortion case began oral arguments. “Do not criminalize me and millions of women like me across the country! Do not criminalize those that help us!”
“Nobody is free until everybody is free!” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley. “Liberate abortion!”
“We must legislate and organize and mobilize as if lives depend on it, because they do!”
‘Liberate Abortion’ was frequently chanted today outside the court.
For pro-life activists, the case represents the first opportunity to chip away or overturn Roe, empowered by former President Trump’s appointment of three new Supreme Court justices: Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett.
Pro-choice activists held a civil disobedience action at First and Constitution to make their demands heard.
Amidst their protest for abortion access, pro-choice activists referred to themselves as pro-life.
In total, 33 were arrested and charged with “Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding in an area where protesting is prohibited,” but released on site.
While elements of the religious right, who are most associated with the pro-life movement, were present at the Supreme Court, their side of the movement also had a considerable presence framing themselves as progressives.
On Tuesday, a contingency of these activists rallied at the DNC Headquarters, criticizing the Democratic Party for what they say is the exclusion of anti-abortion voices.
While the current president supports abortion access, the Supreme Court’s conservative makeup following the presidency of Donald Trump means that the future of Roe v Wade may hang in the balance.