Access to abortion is the bedrock of women’s rights. Reproductive choice and access to reproductive healthcare underpins all other aspects of autonomy and freedom. Taking away the right to end a pregnancy condemns a person to a life they did not choose.
In 1973, the Roe v Wade case determined that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy meant that no state in the US could ban abortion provision before 24 weeks of pregnancy. But in a recent legal challenge, the conservative-led Supreme Court has overturned this precedent – paving the way for some US states to remove access to abortion entirely.
There are 26 states who are certain or likely to outlaw abortion in the wake of this ruling, with 33.6 million reproductive-age women living in states at risk of losing access to abortion. Many of the millions of women who live in these states will be unable to travel elsewhere for an abortion due to barriers such as: financial resources, time off work and child care and it will be poorer women who feel the most direct impact of these abortion bans.
This is a body blow for reproductive rights and women’s bodily autonomy. Take action to stand with the women of the USA now.
As Roe v Wade is overturned, some states in America have already passed so-called ‘trigger laws’. These laws vary from reducing the time limit, to banning abortion entirely, and either have already been or are likely to be passed in about half of all states.
This means that for millions of women across the USA, they can no longer access abortion care in their home state, and for many who cannot afford to travel, they will not be able to access legal abortion at all. This is the case for women in states such as Texas and Kansas.
Meanwhile, some states have committed to protecting abortion rights even now Roe v Wade has been overturned – these include Oregon and California.
We are calling on the UK government to condemn what’s happening in the States, and commit to protecting access to abortion globally.