Protesters Rally as Supreme Court Takes on Texas Abortion Law

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The Supreme Court was far from quiet today as protesters arrived bright and early for what’s being called the most important abortion case in decades.

Pro-choice protesters made sure their voices were heard from outside the Supreme Court building to the courtroom. Anti-abortion protesters also joined the rally to let their opinions be heard by taping their mouths with red tape with “Life” written on it.

All the commotion outside the Supreme Court was caused by a hearing on the Texas abortion law (H.B. 2), which passed in 2013 – closing more than half of the abortion clinics in the state. Only 10 clinics remain open. The law requires doctors to have admitting privileges to perform abortions in clinics at local hospitals, and also requires them to meet the requirements of Ambulatory Surgical Centers in the clinics where abortions are performed.

People began lining up to see the hearing Tuesday afternoon, but some were there for other reasons.

Seeing the hearing wasn’t in 22-year-old Wright State University student Brenda Pearl’s mind. She was there to share her story at the rally for others who have been in her shoes. Pearl had an abortion  in 2014 while she was in school.

“It was a very hard decision,” Pearl said. “A lot of people don’t realize that it’s not just a birth control method. We think it through – it’s a choice.”

Pearl said she was not only there to share her story, but to get her message across, so people can have access to abortion services like she did.

“I want legislators, people who are not educated and people who are speaking against abortions – calling them murderers, calling them bad people to know that this is our choice,” she said. “It’s about me as an African American woman being a voice for African American women because our voice is always diminished in this movement.”

Pearl’s peer who shares a similar story, Kayla Edwards, 21, senior at Wright State University, got an abortion at the age of 19 and has become a spokeswoman for abortion rights since then.

“Every story is different for each woman – each woman has her own reasoning,” Edwards said.

Edwards spoke at the rally about her abortion and shared her reasoning as to why she received it.

“I wanted to succeed in school, get a career and then build a family,” she said. “Becoming pregnant as a freshman in college completely was at odds with that plan.”

The Supreme Court justices will have to decide whether or not to uphold the Texas H.B. 2 law. The court hearing Wednesday lasted 90 minutes, but there is no word yet when the Supreme Court will make its decision.

Read more from the actual hearing here.

WOUB’s Erica King reported from Washington, D.C., where she is currently an intern with Scripps Howard Foundation Wire.