#WeWereThere One Week Ago, Today.

It has been one week since we rallied on the steps of the Supreme Court while the Justices heard our case against Texas HB2. We are still so full of love and hope from that amazing day, and are thankful to everyone who came out!

We’ve been saying all along that while HB2 started in Texas, it has national implications. We know this from the 40+ amicas briefs submitted to support our cause, that ranged from personal stories and statements from municipalities and leading medical organizations. We know this from the stories we hear in our clinics every day, the callers who try all they might – end up falling through the cracks.

We especially saw the national implications leading up to the oral arguments as the Fifth Circuit court of appeals upheld the same admitting privileges law in Louisiana, shuttering all but one clinic. And most recently we know this from the news that Google searches for self-abortion have skyrocketed in the past years, as TRAP restrictions have increased across the country.

It was nothing short of unreal to have the Supreme Court Justices discuss the merits of our case against Texas. They asked pointed questions showing recognition of the injustice many Texans now face because of their status and zip code.

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We were also given hope that they understood our plight – the plight of abortion providers who are hanging on by a thread, jumping through every harmful, medically unnecessary, state-mandated hoop, just to stay open and to provide care.

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We also silently cheered as the justices grilled Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, Esq., on what seemed to be on behalf of every woman and person ever scorned by a TRAP law.

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Regardless of these exchanges, we were confident that whatever game the Justices brought we’d be able to handle it because The Center for Reproductive Rights was on our side and we had Stephanie Toti defending us!

Thank You

But, as much as we all wished to have been inside the Supreme Court during these arguments, to have basked in the glow of Justices RBG, Kagan, and Sotomayor, the vast majority of us were outside in what was clearly an equally life-giving event – the Rally to Protect Abortion Access!

For FOUR HOURS we joined some of the fiercest, most inspiring reproductive rights and justice advocates across the country and the awesomeness never. let. up.

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“I am proud to be able to talk to patients in their preferred language, to listen to them and hold their hand. I have the privilege to sit next to women as they share their stories with me, and honor their most inner struggles with spirituality, fear, love, life, and parenthood.” -Andrea Ferrigno, corporate vice president of Whole Woman’s Health

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“I am proud to stand here today and say that I provide abortions with Whole Woman’s Health in Texas. I have grown up in that state and know what it’s like when your government considers you unworthy of dignity, respect, and equality. Unfortunately, things only seem to get worse for Texans who are women, undocumented, gay or lesbian, queer, trans, a person of color, low-income, or part of any marginalized group. Many of us may think this case is only about abortion in Texas. But it is about all of us. These laws are a clear indication that they think we don’t matter, that our lives are less than.”  -Dr. Bhavik Kumar

 

More photos from the rally:

 

Below is the complete list of speakers:

 

 

If you missed the rally, or would like to watch it again, click here 🙂

 

Photo Credits: Lorie Shaull, @mikemorganfoto

 

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