Reproductive rights protesters Wednesday interrupted oral arguments at the US Supreme Court. As the court heard oral arguments in the case of Bittner v. United States, three protesters stood up in the chamber and spoke out against the court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In Dobbs, the Court struck down Roe v. Wade and found there is no protected right to abortion in the US.
According to a press release, the protesters denounced the decision in Dobbs, calling for American women to vote in the upcoming November 8 election. One protester yelled, “Our right to choose will not be stripped away!” The women were then removed by police and arrested. The protesters anticipated their arrest and expect charges of civil disobedience. The court tried to prevent the protest from being heard on the oral arguments livestream, but the women made themselves heard.
This protest was the first protest inside the Supreme Court in seven years. The last protest inside the court was on the fifth anniversary of the Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.
One of the protesters, a writer and mother from Virginia, said that she was “deeply worried about the trajectory of our democracy.” Another protester, a great-grandmother and retired teacher, referenced the struggle for women’s suffrage and the original fight to legalize abortion. She stated that American women must “use [their] ballots” to continue the fight for choice. The third protester, a massage therapist, discussed her own abortion and her inability to stay silent in the wake of the Dobbs decision.
The November 8 elections are the first nationwide elections in the US since the court overturned Roe.