Why We Need You at the Supreme Court on April 24

I’ve lived in Washington, D.C., for eight years, and rallies at the Supreme Court for abortion-related cases unfortunately feel like regular events. That’s because the Supreme Court keeps hearing cases that could take away our fundamental rights. 

On Wednesday, April 24, inside the Supreme Court, the Justices will hear oral arguments in Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States, a case thatconsiders whether states can block pregnant people from getting emergency abortion care. Idaho law currently criminalizes nearly all abortions, with an impossibly narrow exception for those that are “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman.” Idaho’s ban directly conflicts with the federal law known as EMTALA (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) that requires hospitals to treat any patient experiencing an emergency medical condition with the necessary stabilizing care, including abortion. The Supreme Court will determine whether state abortion bans can override EMTALA’s essential protections. 

The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for the right to emergency reproductive health care nationwide. The Idaho abortion ban has already caused devastation across the state of Idaho, with patients traveling out of state to receive critical abortion care, hospitals shutting down labor and maternity wards, and OB/GYNs leaving the state in droves because of fear of prosecution or because they can’t practice medicine. Health care providers must be able to provide evidence-based care, which can include abortion, to protect the pregnant patient’s life and health. EMTALA is a critical protection that assures health care providers can provide the emergency care they know their patients need. 

Outside the court on Wednesday, a crowd of advocates will once again make themselves heard, and every time I join them, I remember why it’s so important that we all show up at these crucial moments. 

Each Supreme Court rally I’ve attended marks a memory I won’t soon forget: the June Medical v. Russo rally in 2020 that I attended with a cohort of my fellow law school students; the feelings of impending doom during the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org rally in 2021; the frenetic energy at the rally in 2022, after the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked; and the FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine rally that took place a few weeks ago, where my colleagues and I shouted our support for medication abortion access.   

When I think back on these rallies, the details of each case are not necessarily what come to mind. Rather, it is the collective energy generated by a crowd of people who understand that abortion is critical health care.  

It is that feeling of comradery while looking to your neighbor for the next words to a chant. It is the warmth you feel when your very nurturing friend pulls an extra granola bar out of her bag because she knew you’d skip breakfast. It is the joy of dancing along to an excellent abortion rally playlist. It is the palpable silence that overtakes the crowd as we listen to the stories of folks who were personally harmed by denial of care, or whose lives were changed for the better because they had access to abortion. It is the soreness in your throat as you scream so loud with hopes you’ll be heard by the radically conservative justices seated only a few yards away, who hold the power to dictate the lives and futures of millions of people.  

On April 24, while anti-abortion extremists attack critical health care inside of the Court, I will be outside with friends, colleagues, and other advocates, and we will continue to show up again and again until we restore and expand our rights. We won’t go quietly.  

Join us Wednesday morning at the Supreme Court rally to safeguard emergency abortion care for all! Together, we can make a difference and ensure that no one is denied the care they urgently need.