Protect Women's Health Rally at the Supreme Court
It was a chilly 35 degrees this morning in Washington, but that didn’t stop hundreds of citizens from heading to the steps of the Supreme Court to show their support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Chanting “protect our care, protect the law!” and “health care works for you, health care works for me, health care works for every American family!” women and men of all ages cheered loudly in support of the health care law.
Check out some of our photos from the event:
We heard from Maine State Senator Margaret Craven, a health care advocate who represents the 16th Senate District of Maine, and Spike Dolomite Ward, a Health Care for America Now activist from California. Spike shared her personal story, explaining that when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer she was uninsured. Before the health care law, getting a new insurance plan that would cover her would have been a challenge. Now, thanks to the pre-existing condition insurance plan under the ACA, she doesn’t have to worry anymore. “Access to health care shouldn’t depend on luck,” she told the crowd. “Because of ACA, I’m going to live!”
Chris Turner, a rape survivor, took the podium next to share her story. After her attack, Chris was treated with precautionary anti-HIV drugs; little did she know that because of this, she would find herself excluded from coverage based on the pre-existing condition of using HIV medications. Because of the health care law, starting in 2014, Chris can never be excluded from coverage again.
We heard from two more patients and families whose lives have already changed and will change by the time the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented before hearing from Courtney Everette, a mother who truly knows the importance of affordable health care:
“I’m a woman with a pre-existing condition. When I was 17, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition that could have prevented me from having children. Being a parent with a chronic illness is hard enough, but is even worse when you have to choose medications over providing for your child.
Thanks to Planned Parenthood, I was able to get health care even when I didn’t have insurance and as a result, I have a son and will soon have a daughter.
Maybe someday, my daughter will have a daughter, but no matter what kind of pre-existing condition she has, she won’t need to worry about having insurance to provide health care. If my daughter is born with a pre-existing condition, our insurance company won’t be able to deny, drop, limit, or cap our coverage to treat that condition. By the time my baby is an adult that will apply to everyone, not just children.”
At the close of press conference, the crowd of supporters began to march and cheer, keeping the energy up for over three hours while oral arguments continued inside.
The reason so many people traveled from afar, spending their morning outside in the chilly air, is because the Affordable Care Act truly matters. From the women who spoke at the press conference to the ones who held signs, people came together to express their support for the health care law, which has already provided preventive services without a co-pay to more than 20 million women. That’s 27,000 women every single day, and that’s just beginning… It’s time to protect health care and protect the law.