Thousands rally in support of abortion rights that stacked court seeks to end

Thousands gathered in front of the United States Supreme Court and in Jackson, Mississippi on Wednesday to rally in support of abortion rights as the Center for Reproductive Rights delivered oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case challenging Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.

With banners announcing “Abortion is Essential,” rally-goers in D.C. heard from clients in the case, abortion providers, independent clinics, members of Congress, advocates, and speakers sharing their personal abortion stories—all emphasizing the importance of abortion rights and access.

In the case, the health clinic is defending the right to terminate a pregnancy against a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation that was passed as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade

The #AbortionIsEssential rally, which was emceed by Renee Bracey Sherman, Founder and Executive Director of We Testify, included an all-star lineup of speakers including Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Northup inspired the crowd with a rallying cry ahead of oral arguments.

“We are here to win, and I pledge to you, that no matter the outcome of this court case, the Center for Reproductive Rights will use every legal lever to make sure that abortion access is protected for all, is available without discrimination, is available without regards to means and circumstance, and is available to communities across the country,” Northup said. “This is what we mean when we say abortion rights are fundamental human rights.”

We Testify is an organization dedicated to the representation of people who have abortions, increasing the spectrum of experienced storytellers in the public sphere, in a drive aimed at shifting the way the media understands the context and complexity of accessing abortion care.

The organization invests in abortion storytellers to elevate their voices and expertise, particularly those of color, those from rural and conservative communities, those who are queer-identified, those with varying abilities and citizenship statuses, and those who needed support when navigating barriers while accessing abortion care.

Leaders of the group unapologetically believe that people who have abortions are our future, while progressive advocates have called out establishment politicians who have allowed such a fundamental right to come close to annihilation.

“We believe that everyone who has abortions deserves unconditional love and support,” said a statement on the We Testify website. “We believe that people who have abortions deserve to be in every space where decisions are being made. To borrow from the disability justice movement, there should be nothing about us without us. We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.”

Abortion is legal, but access doesn’t look the same for everyone. In fact, it can often vary depending on your age, where you live, or how much money you have.

The group also guides individuals to organizations that will help them get maternal or abortion care, including the Abortion Care Network, National Abortion Federation, and Planned Parenthood for specific clinics.

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