Expect to hear a lot about abortion in America in the coming months.
It will be passionate and sincere but angry and polarized.
Abortion is such a fragmented issue, and especially in America it affects so many parts of society: politics, gender equality, race and religion.
Today, in the shadow of the Washington Monument, not far from the White House, it was the turn of the “pro-choice” campaigns.
In a celebration of the right to choose, and under a banner “Prohibit our bodies”, thousands gathered as part of a nationwide effort to preserve access to abortion.
The speakers addressed the audience with an urgency that reflects shock leak from the Supreme Court this month.
The leak revealed that a majority of the court’s nine judges are in favor of overthrowing the constitutional right of American women to choose abortion.
In an instant, the leak electrified the pro- and anti-abortion movements.
“We must come out here and fight for our rights! It is completely unfair to let a bunch of old men and people who are completely out of touch with the rest of America choose our fate,” Olivia said to me.
“We are the land of the free. You should not drive across state borders to try to achieve something that is so integrated and that so many people have figured out and yet we are ‘free’, but we have not figured it out, Christa said. Vonderberg.
We do not know exactly when the judges’ decision will come; only that it will be in July.
The six men and three women in the Conservative-leaning court will decide an issue that is not only deeply personal to so many people, it touches on so many aspects of life here.
It has been about politics, religion, race, equality. But above all, many here argue, it is simply a matter of care, a fundamental freedom of choice.
The almost total ban on abortion in many states across America would, it is argued, create a deep healthcare crisis when women go underground or are forced to have children they cannot care for.
The terminology is also controversial. One side presents itself as “pro-life”. The other identifies as “pro-choice”.
Yet those who are pro-choice hate the idea that pro-life etiquette concludes that they are anti-life.
Pro-choicers point out that pro-livers are for the life of an unborn fetus and seem to care little about the lives of the young, often very poor women who would be forced to give birth.
Pro-livers are deeply angry at the other side’s claim that they are pro-choice given that they do not give the aborted child any choice.
It is a question that cuts to the heart of what America means, what it stands for.
The energy and drive from just one side of the debate today suggests a noisy and fragmented way forward.