Here's How To Protest To Support Reproductive Rights At The Supreme Court
As President Donald Trump made his way through the run up to the 2016 elections, he made it very clear that he had his sights on overturning Roe v. Wade — a 1973 court ruling that recognized a women's right to have an abortion. Up until now, his hands hands were a bit tied, but now that Justice Anthony Kennedy has retired from the Supreme Court, the battle over abortion rights is inevitable, since Trump is sure to appoint a anti-abortion justice. No one has the ability to stop Kennedy from leaving, but here's how to protest to support reproductive rights at the Supreme Court, so Trump's vision isn't an immediate reality.
It's important to note that Kennedy, who announced his retirement on June 27, was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan as a conservative judge, although his voice on the bench leaned more towards the center. It was Kennedy who wrote the ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the nation in 2015's Obergefell v. Hodges, and during abortion rights case Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, Kennedy ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood thus reaffirming Roe v. Wade, according to CNN. Aside from everything he's done while a justice of the Supreme Court, his leaving weighs heavy on those who believe in abortion rights because it's now up to Trump to fill the seat. With Kennedy's successor — likely someone who isn't pro-choice — and four other conservatives in the Supreme Court, there's a high possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned.
Now that the battleground is set for a fight over reproductive rights, many of us are looking for ways to help make sure that Roe v. Wade stays intact and choice is still on the table.
Here are some ways you can protest to help ensure the future of reproductive rights:
Call your senators.
Probably one of the most productive ways to protest for reproductive rights and bring about change is to call your senators. Here's how it works: Trump will pick his choice for Kennedy's successor, but then the Senate gets to vote. That means you can call and ask your Senators to reject Trump's choice. The Democrats in the Senate alone can't just take down Trump's nominee because the Republicans have the majority. But, the Democrats only need to sway one senator away from the right (as long as the rest of the Democrats are on the same side), according to The Hill, and your senator could be that one vote. Imagine that.
So if reproductive rights are important to you, and you believe Trump's choice for Supreme Court would be detrimental to that, than you can call pro-choice group NARAL's hotline (1-844-515-2798) that connects you to your senator's office.
Protest at the Supreme Court .
As soon as Kennedy's retirement was official on June 27, pro-choice groups gathered in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. to try and "save SCOTUS."
The Roe v. Wade ruling was back in 1973, and gave women the right to make their own medical decisions under the 14th Amendment. It confirmed a right to abortion, but left it up to the states to decide where the cut-off point should be (which proves to be a point of contention even today). Not only was it important to give women autonomy over their bodies, but it also made women safer. According to Planned Parenthood, prior to Roe v. Wade, eight out of ten low-income women who had an abortion attempted to perform the procedure on their own in a dangerous self-induced fashion. In the time since the ruling, abortion procedures have a safety record of over 99 percent. The #WeWontGoBack tag that's found in the tweet above — and most of the tweets since Kennedy announced he's retiring — means that we won't go back to putting women in danger by denying them access to abortion.
Another powerful tool of protest is knowledge. In order to effectively fight for reproductive rights, it's crucial to stay informed. Ditch the List was created in the wake of Kennedy's retirement to inform people of everyone who's on Trump's shortlist for the Supreme Court bench. If you go to their site, you'll see all the judges in the running, plus information about each of them — including past rulings that will give you a hint of what's to come.
Staying informed allows you to know what you're up against, and that's vital because the battle is inevitable. These tools of protest won't automatically ensure that Roe v. Wade is a permanent fixture of U.S. law, but they will help hopefully make sure that the person who takes over for Kennedy isn't someone who's going to immediately try and overturn Roe v. Wade and take reproductive rights out of the hands of women. That's what it's about right now, because all we have is one step at a time. And each step is still going to keep us very busy.