On June 27th, I attended a rally in front of the Supreme Court and it was a life changing experience. The ruling was one that would change women's reproductive healthcare forever. In 2013, Texas enacted a law that required all abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges or the ability to admit a woman to the hospital in case of an issue during an abortion. The problem is that in Texas and many other states around the country, hospitals do not grant abortion clinics this privilege in order to avoid politics and to continue to receive funding and support from communities around their state (largely consisting of White, male, conservative republicans). The result of this law was that many abortion clinics closed due to their inability to acquire these privileges. Women lost their access to reproductive healthcare due to having to drive far out to a facility that could acquire privileges, thus forcing women to continue being pregnant in situations that don't allow them to do so in health and happiness. Majority of these women were poor and minorities. As we know, women of color and poor women often do not have access to transportation in order to be present at a doctor's appointment, therefor they have to continue with the pregnancy. The Supreme Court voted to dismantle this law, thus providing healthcare for thousands of women in Texas and other states.
The opposition created this bill in order to shut down abortion clinics and decrease the amount of abortions. What conservatives and religious people don't understand is that "abortion" clinics don't simply provide abortions, they include reproductive healthcare education, contraception, and STI testing, all of which are beyond important for sexually active women of any race, religion, or creed.
Another decision the Court handed down was the decision to ban domestic violence offenders from obtaining firearms. As an avid domestic violence advocate, this ruling was especially important. Having a firearm in the home disables victims to leave their partners due to a great fear instilled by intimidation. This ruling empowers more women to be able to leave domestically violent relationship. And as I always say, empower one woman, empower all.
Overall, I was pleased with both of the decisions handed down last week in D.C. One can only hope that more progressive measures concerning healthcare, voting rights, and other issues will be passed once President Obama's pick for the empty Justice seat is filled. For more information concerning the Supreme Court, visit www.supremecourt.gov.