#StoptheSham: Scenes from the Pro-Choice Rally at SCOTUS
Today, hundreds of pro-choice supporters rallied in front of the Supreme Court. Oral arguments will be heard today in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case that will cause the justices to weigh in on the constitutionality of Texas’s new controversial abortion laws. Given the high stakes nature of the case–it could set national precedent for abortion laws either way it goes–protestors set out for the Supreme Court this morning, and I headed over to check it out and grab some photos of the attendees.
The new Texas regulations place additional restrictions on abortion providers, many of which are viewed as unnecessarily burdensome. Proponents of the Texas law argue that they’re trying to protect women’s health; opponents argue that the laws are just backdoor attempts to prevent abortion access in the state. The Texas provisions fall under the category of “TRAP laws,” a.k.a. targeted regulations of abortion providers. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune describes the general purposes of the laws, stating that: “in most cases they compel abortion clinics to meet the architectural, equipment and staffing standards of outpatient surgical centers, and to be staffed by doctors who have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.” While those sound in theory like good ideas, they are excessive, medically unnecessary, and ultimately just make it harder for abortion providers to operate.
Despite the incredibly windy and blustery morning, the scene at SCOTUS today was crowded and enthusiastic. The event, which was organized by a number of pro-choice groups, featured men, women, and a few adorable dogs, as well as prominent pro-choice speakers. A common refrain from the crowd was “Stop the Sham,” a rallying cry that has also reverberated around social media in the form of a hashtag: #StoptheSham.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) March 2, 2016
— Notorious R.B.G. (@NotoriousRBG) March 2, 2016
And on a lighter, final note, no rally in front of the Supreme Court would be complete without some fantastic protest signs. Check out some of my favorites in the slideshow below: