By Molly Goldberg
As a summer intern for RCRC, I ventured to the steps of the Supreme Court Thursday morning to rally for women’s health care in the landmark case on the Affordable Care Act.
I met up with RCRC’s partners NARAL and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Standing tightly packed between physicians in medical garb and pro-choice college interns drenched in pink, we were surrounded by posters that raved, “Moving Forward: Protecting Our Care” and “Stand Up for Women’s Health.”
We were met with strong opposition. Belly dancers swarmed through the crowd, swinging their hips and opposing the individual mandate. Students for Life campaigned over the microphone, begging the Supreme Court to strike down the new health care measure, citing abortion as a reason even though it doesn’t cover abortion. All the while, we ACA supporters chanted “We love health care!” and anxiously updated and re-updated our Twitter feeds.
Finally, the ruling was released. We got the “jist” of it: the law and the individual mandate were upheld. Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal justices, resulting in a 5-4 ruling. There was a bit of confusion at first, as CNN and Fox initially released the wrong decision, but soon the crowd went wild with joyous applause and gleeful shouts of “Yes We Did!” It was fantastic to know that our religious communities have played a role in ensuring a woman’s right to comprehensive healthcare in the United States.
Shortly after the decision was released, while the justices were still reading their concurring and dissenting opinions, abortion opponents held a forum before the Supreme Court building. That made me understand even more that this decision is a huge step in the right direction for women’s health and a tremendous victory for the entire reproductive justice community. That said, we’ve still got major work to do to make sure this victory becomes a reality post-election season.