Yet for all the anger and activism of the past week, most of the protesters seemed to recognize the futility of their actions. Earlier in the day, Senate Democrats had failed to pass a bill to codify a nationwide right to abortion into law. Soon, the Court will issue its official decision on Roe, and a few weeks later, abortion will likely be banned or severely restricted in half of U.S. states. The unprecedented release of the draft Court decision last week had created an unusual opportunity for activists on both sides of the abortion debate: a small window of time to influence the decision. It seems likely that whoever leaked the draft wanted to give outsiders just such a chance to intervene, either to cement the justices’ decision or try to sway a few of them. So far, though, according to Politico, no justices have changed their minds.
Last night’s protest was smaller than the previous ones. The marchers were accompanied by at least five reporters and escorted by what seemed like the entire Montgomery County Police Department. As they marched up Brookville Road, past sweet-smelling honeysuckle bushes and brick houses with imposing columns, Irwin pushed a cart with speakers playing Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution.” The group wore pink pussy hats and leather jackets and carried homemade cardboard signs that said abort the court. After turning down a side street to chant outside Kavanaugh’s house, they walked a few blocks over to Chief Justice John Roberts’s, where they did more call-and-response, and argued over whether it would be more gender inclusive to use the term uterus or vagina. (Other Ruth Sent Us marchers visited the homes of the rest of the conservative justices.) One of Roberts’s neighbors, who asked not to be quoted or named, came outside to show her toddler what a protest looked like. She didn’t mind that marches down her street were becoming a semi-regular occurrence. It’s their constitutional right, she said.