The US Constitutional Court’s ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation—overturning Roe v Wade—has delivered a seismic and profound shock to the socio-political fabric in America and across the globe.
Many American states will now move to ban or restrict abortions. Women in those states will be forced to make uncomfortable journeys to states permitting abortions and neighbouring countries such as Canada and Mexico. Tragically though, many women in prohibition states who lack the means to travel will undoubtedly suffer.
Since Roe v Wade (1973) in the USA, many countries have followed the road to a much more enlightened attitude regarding the right of women to control their own reproductive capacity. But now the USA has perversely gone backwards. Abortion, as with other issues, has always been a matter of political and ideological difference and those opposing it have finally achieved their aim, after half a century, of upending nationwide access to abortion.
But women in the USA (and indeed in most western countries) are no longer powerless. Many such as Nancy Pelosi (Speaker in the House of Assembly, USA) hold positions of immense power in legislatures or government and have shown in recent times that they can mobilise to great effect to vote to protect women’s interests. Pressure can be exerted at the political and other levels and certainly, abortion will be front and centre in the mid-term elections. And with the upsurge in expectations over recent years that big business has a voice on social issues dozens of major employers (such as Amazon, American Express, Apple, AT&T, Alaska Airlines, Bank of America, and Bloomberg) are committing to cover travel, lodging, and childcare expenses for employees in states where the medical procedure will be banned.
We express support and solidarity with the women of America as they deal anxiously with this trying moment in history. We are convinced that they and those who support them can mobilise to protect the health of women as well as to assert their inalienable rights over their own bodies.