This week marks the fortieth consecutive Monday lunch-hour protest of Women Organizing for Wilmington, or WOW*. Since last summer, this grassroots group has been championing women’s rights and public education causes on a weekly basis, whether outside Senator Goolsby’s downtown office, or before the New Hanover County courthouse. But, WOW* has now left downtown altogether--to protest outside the Hobby Lobby at Hanover Center.
This relocation stems from Hobby Lobby’s involvement in a hot-button U.S. Supreme Court case. The Christian-owned crafts supply chain is challenging the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires companies to include contraceptives in their health insurance plans. WOW* organizer Brandie Temple says the constitution guarantees citizens equal citizen access to health care. Temple was one of twenty-five who held signs and protested before Oleander Drive passers-by yesterday.
"Overall we’ve gotten a lot of thumbs’ up and honks. I think that the issue of equal access to health care is one that a lot of people can connect with, no matter what their background is. And really ultimately, that’s sort of what it’s all about."
Hobby Lobby leaders argue this law violates their constitutional right to religious freedom. The Supreme Court is expected to finalize their decision by early July, and Temple says WOW* will most likely continue to rally outside Wilmington’s Hobby Lobby outpost—with the aim of making the general public aware of the case and its implications—until that verdict is reached.
*Not to be confused with Waves of Wilmington, a swimming club in Wilmington.