Voices were loud and emotions were high on the usually austere marble steps of the Supreme Court this morning. About 250 people rallied in front of the Court building to express their opinion about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), whose constitutionality is being considered by the Supreme Court today and tomorrow.
In light of the recent conservative attacks on female reproductive rights, women’s health was the central focus of the crowd. Under the crisp, sunny sky, bright pink “Protect the Law!” posters abounded along with chants of “A healthy America is a productive America!” The ACA requires all new insurance plans to cover the cost of certain preventative health services—many of which are vital to women—such as mammograms, contraception, and domestic violence counseling. A wide range of groups were represented at the rally—everyone from Planned Parenthood to “Catholics for Obamacare.” Supporters of the Affordable Care Act far outnumbered the few Tea Party protestors present.
I talked with a high school teacher who had come all the way from California to join the rally. “Obamacare is important,” she said when I asked why she had made the trip. “I’ve lived in countries much less prosperous that the U.S. and they have free healthcare—they take care of everyone. Women in this country are under assault right now. It’s my duty to be here.”
Today is the second of the three days of oral arguments that the Supreme Court will hear on the case. A final verdict is expected in June.