March 2nd at the Supreme Court

Standing up for Women’s Lives

March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Supreme Court, March 2
March 2 at the Supreme Court. Photo: Terry Kass

On March 2, passions ran high on the plaza in front of the Supreme Court as about 2,000 people came together to cheer, chant, intently listen, and sometimes break into tears as speaker after speaker spoke to what the court case being argued inside was all about: women’s lives, their aspirations, hopes, and dreams. This was the biggest protest to defend the right to abortion in many, many years.

The speakers and participants had come to D.C. to oppose HB2, the cruel Texas law that forced more than half the 41 abortion clinics in the state to close after it was passed by the legislature in 2013, and which will force at least nine more to close if all of HB2’s provisions are upheld. This would leave the huge state of Texas with only 10 or fewer clinics, concentrated in metropolitan areas. Women in more rural areas, including the Rio Grande Valley, many of whom are low-income and Chicana or Mexican immigrants, will be—and already are—its main victims. The Court’s decision will have an impact on many other states, as well, which have already passed their own versions of these TRAP (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) laws. The decision is expected to be announced in early June or before. (See “Abortion Rights Emergency: Federal Court Ruling Leaves Only ONE Abortion Clinic in Louisiana; Crucial Supreme Court Ruling on March 2.”)

The speakers included abortion providers, clinic owners, students, artists, activists, and representatives of national abortion rights organizations. An abortion provider, a student, and an artist/activist told their abortion stories, without shame, and gave deep appreciation to their abortion providers for allowing them to determine their own fate. A clinic owner was moved to tears at the turnout, expressing the isolation many abortion providers feel in such a vicious climate, and she recounted the devastation she felt when she had to turn away a desperate woman seeking an abortion after the clinic was forced to shut down as a result of laws requiring clinics to meet restrictive requirements like the Texas law HB2 being heard inside the Court. Over and over again, people were reminded by the speakers that this fight really is about the lives and futures of women.

March 2, Supreme COurt
March 2, at the Supreme Court. Photo: Jo Freeman

Most in the crowd were women, a number from the generations before abortion became legal in the U.S. by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. “I fought for abortion, before Roe,” one said. “I never expected to be in this situation again.” Many others were those who hadn’t known a time when abortion hadn’t been available and accessible. “Our generation has seen this as a given—until now,” one young woman said. “Now we see that if we don’t fight for this, we may lose it.”

The rally had been called by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has spearheaded the legal challenges to HB2 and other restrictive anti-abortion laws. They and other national reproductive rights organizations chartered buses from New York City—and individuals carpooled from nearby areas as well as more distant states, including Ohio and Illinois. Signs supporting Whole Woman’s Health, the group of Texas clinics that has led the legal fight, and posters with the state of Texas and the words “Keep Abortion Safe, Legal and Accessible,” were prominent, and there were many homemade signs declaring in different ways that women’s bodies must be off limits to government (and other) interference. In opposition to how the New York Times pictured the scene outside the Court, with a large photo of an anti-abortion woman on the front page and what appeared to be two equal sides facing off, the number of anti-abortion protestors was dwarfed by the pro-woman, pro-choice side.

Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

Stop Patriarchy was on the scene, uniting with everyone standing up against HB2 and to bring the fight for abortion rights and women’s lives to an even higher level, organizing people to continue on in this fight, as part of fighting for the full liberation of women. Many people gathered around Stop Patriarchy’s “Abortion Providers Are Heroes” banner and added their names and heartfelt messages to it. The NYC Revolution Club brought out the need for revolution and communism, and making the struggle for abortion rights part of fighting the power and transforming the people, for an actual revolution. They distributed many hundreds of palm cards with Bob Avakian’s “Unbelievable as it may seem...” quote and the sampler edition of Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution.

This abortion rights emergency has gotten to the point where the reality that we are losing this battle and that something must be done to change things is starkly staring people in the face, and many we spoke to were drawn to getting more into what BA says about the possibility for real revolution.

The rally was an important step in drawing forward visible mass resistance to the attacks on abortion, and much more is needed in the coming months and beyond.



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