One Year Ago Today, I Slept at SCOTUS for the Dobbs Hearing

Caroline Wharton - 01 Dec 2022
Guest post by SFLA Student Spokesperson Noah Slayter

GUEST POST: We are asking the court in no uncertain terms to make history.” – Mike Pence  

One year ago today, I slept overnight in front of the Supreme Court, preparing for the oral arguments of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. So much has taken place since then, but I will never forget being there on that historic day with Students for Life of America (SFLA). I remember taking the metro towards the Court, on that brisk winter day, the smell of potential snow in the air, and reflecting on my involvement with the pro-life movement.  

I had spent countless hours speaking with people about abortion and seeing the vitriol of many during protests. In some instances, I seemed to witness the deepest effects of human pain by those who had been touched by the trauma and pain of abortion. Yet in spite of all that darkness, there existed light. Where love of human dignity exists, life will prevail, and on that chilly December day, we would see life win, even if we didn’t know it at the time.  

It amazes me to think of the forces we had to conquer then: a multi-billion-dollar abortion industry, radical pro-abortion politicians, violent activists, numerous spiritual battles, and a culture of death that had been only getting worse for the almost 50 years since Roe v. Wade.  

Yet there we were, standing before the highest court in the land, laying the nation’s soul on the line. Were we to become a nation that reaffirms a “right” to end innocent life on the altar of convenience? Was America to become a country so blurred to scientific reality that we would be willing to dismember children for our own profit?  

That day we said no.  

We said no to the abortion industry; no to the ridiculous notion that a woman has two choices in life: to become a mother or to be successful. We said no to the pro-death narrative that tells women, “Kill your child. It’s your only way out.”  

To say the least, the night before the hearing was eventful. I met Lynn Fitch, the Attorney General for Mississippi who brought this case for her state in before of the Supreme Court; she was very kind and enthusiastically Southern. Senators Braun and Lankford stayed with us for a couple hours. Sen. Lankford personally handed out doughnuts and coffee to all the SFLA students and staff sleeping overnight at the Court, for which we were very grateful during the winter night. At the time, I had never met him before; I didn’t realize who he was until after several minutes of conversing with him, and I was honored to meet him. 

Later on, I crawled underneath a sleeping bag for warmth. It was a weird feeling; it is a bit surreal, after all, when you’re waiting on history.  

As the sun broke across the horizon and the day started, people started getting anxious, buzzing with excitement. The anticipation was palpable. By the time the oral arguments began at the Court, already a clear line had been drawn from the pro-life and pro-abortion sides. Both sides expressed their views with notably different forms of expression. The pro-life side chanted “Pro- Life is Pro-Woman! Love Them Both! Roe v. Wade Has Got to Go!”  

The abortion lobby didn’t so much chant as they screamed and cursed at us, not a great showing for their side who is known to be mean and extreme. In both cases, however, voices were heard as the question of whether preborn voices would be recognized was argued in Court.  

After the arguments finished and people started leaving, I looked up at the inscription on the court façade which reads, “Equal Justice Under the Law.” I was cautiously optimistic, hopeful that true justice and equality would win and that the preborn would be given back their rights.  

Little did I know that today — just one year later — I would be living in a Post-Roe America.  

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