Abortion care in the United States of America has been a constitutional right for women since 1973.
In the court case Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court held that a woman’s right to privacy meant that no state could ban abortion provision before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
But in a recent legal challenge, the conservative-led Supreme Court is set to overturn this precedent – paving the way for some US states to remove access to abortion entirely.
This would be a body blow for reproductive rights and women’s bodily autonomy.
If Roe v Wade is overturned, some states in America have already passed legislation that would come into force. 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 will no longer be able to 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 if Roe v Wade is overturned – these include Oregon and California.
We are asking for the UK Foreign Secretary – Liz Truss – to publicly condemn the contents of a leaked version of the upcoming Supreme Court judgment.
The UK government has a long history of standing up for women’s rights around the world. This expected decision in the US is a breach of human rights on the most personal level. Removing women’s access to swift, safe abortion services is utterly contemptible and has absolutely no place in the 21st Century.
The UK Government must voice their unequivocal support for women across the US, and stand in opposition to states which seek to restrict and ban access to abortion care.