Photo credits: Jo Freeman

Several thousand people rallied in front of the Supreme Court on the morning of December 1.

Inside, the Court heard oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi case which would limit all abortions to no later than 15 weeks.

Long before oral arguments started, the pro-lifers outnumbered pro-choicers by about five to one.

They had set up a line of large signs on the curb across the street.

The US Capitol Police blocked off both ends of First St. NE, which runs in front of the Supreme Court.

The surrounding streets were also blocked off.

People could get in.  Cars could not.

The police also extended the barricades between the two sides to the other side of First St.  

These barricades did not keep pro-lifers with their large signs from invading pro-choice space.

Both sides engaged in shouting matches, with bullhorns.

Oral arguments began at 10:00.  For a while, it was broadcast to the protestors.  That was the only time one could actually hear what was being said.  During the rest of the rally, both sides were so loud that neither could be understood.

These may have been the only protestors who weren’t shouting.

Supreme Court police take photos of pro-choice protestors.

Shortly after oral arguments began, a thousand students from Liberty University joined the crowd.  Founded in 1971, LU is an evangelical Christian college in Lynchburg, VA.  Over half of its students are young women; women were about 3/4 of those who spent 3.5 hours on a bus to D.C.

Around noon, the Center for Popular Democracy did a little street theater, with nine pro-choicers holding cardboard heads of the justices on sticks.

Then they marched to Constitution Ave.

Where several sat down and blocked the street.

After the usual three warnings, the US Capitol Police arrested 33.

Womensmarch held a completely separate rally near Union Station, beginning at 1:00.  

After speeches and training, roughly one hundred people carried placards towards the Supreme Court with the intention of encircling it.  

By the time they arrived at the Court, a little before 3:00, everything else was over.

Jo Freeman is a feminist scholar and author.

Copyright © 2021 by Jo Freeman