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Protests expected outside Supreme Court ahead of Mississippi abortion rights case

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 11/30/2021 Sonia Dasgupta
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Protests are expected in downtown Washington D.C. Wednesday as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear a case challenging abortion rights. SCOTUS will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v.  Jackson Women's Health Organization, the most serious challenge to the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade case in 30 years. 

The Alliance Defending Freedom will be holding an anti-abortion movement rally at 9 a.m. outside the Supreme Court. ADF says the Gestational Age Act "protects the health of pregnant mothers, the dignity of unborn children, and the integrity of the medical profession by limiting abortions after 15 weeks in gestational age, permitting them only in medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormality."

The Women's March organization is scheduled to hold an abortion rights protest in Columbus Circle near Union Station around 1 p.m.  “Hold the Line for Abortion Justice” Action will start with some speeches before protesters will march to the Supreme Court and encircle the court. They want participants to wear green. 

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Other protests should be expected. 7News is working to learn more about the other protests planned.

RELATED | Supreme Court set to take up all-or-nothing abortion fight

The case comes from Mississippi where a 2018 law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In the past, the Supreme Court hasn't allowed states to ban abortion before 24 weeks, where a fetus can survive outside the womb. 

The justices are also weighing disputes over Texas' much earlier abortion ban at roughly six weeks.

Jackson Women's Health clinic, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, offers abortions up to 16 weeks and about 10% of the abortions it performs are after the 15th week, according to Shannon Brewer, who runs the clinic. Since the Texas law took effect, she told the Associated Press, she's seen a "substantial increase" in patients. 

MORE | Supreme Court to hear arguments on controversial Mississippi abortion law

Lower courts blocked the Mississippi law. 

The Women's March group outlined some safety guidelines ahead of their event. 

  • Small backpacks and bags are allowed. We recommend you fill them with water and snacks for the day. You can store larger bags at Union Station.
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Mask & Hand sanitizer (we will also be handing out masks and will have hand sanitizing stations)
  • Warm clothes (It might to be chilly!)
  • Portable phone charger

WHAT NOT TO BRING:

  • Any weapons, or anything that can be construed as a weapon, including pocket knives, multi-tools, mace, scissors, etc.
  • Any illegal drugs (while marijuana is legal in D.C., the march will be on federal property and national parkland, where marijuana is still illegal)
  • Coathanger imagery - we do not want to accidentally reinforce the Right-Wing talking points that self-managed abortions are dangerous, scary and harmful.
  • Handmaid’s Tale-themed imagery- The use of Handmaid's Tale imagery to characterize the controlling of women’s reproduction has proliferated, primarily by white women across the country, since the show has gained popularity. This message continues to create more fragmentation, often around race and class, because it erases the fact that Black women, undocumented women, incarcerated women, poor women, and disabled women have always had their reproduction controlled in this country — it’s not a dystopic future or past. This is just a heightened attack.
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