Women in the US and worldwide are faced with an enormous challenge yet again. How does that affect women in the UK?
On the 2nd of May, a leaked document from the US supreme court offered a glimpse into what is promising to be another vicious fight for women’s rights over their bodies.
Justice Samuel Alito took a draft majority opinion in the US Supreme Court proposing to overrule Roe vs Wade and its legal protection over abortions in the US.
What is Roe vs Wade?
Established in 1973, the Roe vs Wade law protects the woman’s right to an abortion in the US. In 1969, in Texas, a woman became pregnant with her third child, but because of the law in place, she was not able to have an abortion.
Norma McCovey, with the help of two lawyers, filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, a local district attorney. She was referred to as Jane Roe for the proceedings of the lawsuit. However, before she won her appeal, she gave birth to the baby, which was later given up for adoption.
What does overruling of Roe vs Wade mean?
If the draft is accepted and roe vs wade is overruled, that means that 23 out of the 50 states will either ban or severely restrict safe abortions. However, a final decision is not expected until July, as the BBC reports.
After the document was leaked, many took to the streets to express their emotions. The Guardian found anti and pro-abortion protestors who campaigned for what they thought was right. Cindy, who protested in front of the US supreme court back in 2016 is there again and is outraged that she has to defend women’s rights again.
A long way from Washington, in Mississippi there is a pink abortion clinic that anti-abortion protestors sit in front of every day. Many of them claim they will protest until the procedure is banned across the US. BBC found John Busby in front of the pink clinic, who claims that the work is not finished until Christ comes.
How is this draft related to UK women?
Although the UK is far away from the US, some politicians in the UK share the same beliefs to those of Samuel Alito. The Independent gives an example of a Tory politician called Jacob Rees-Mogg, who argues that abortion is morally wrong. Nadline Dorries, who is the UK culture secretary has advocated for the time limit for abortions to be made to 20 weeks.
Currently, in the UK the termination of a pregnancy is free and accessible for everyone, before the 24 weeks of the pregnancy, according to the NHS.
Many women who don’t live in the US are in shock of what the draft proposes.
Ashreya Jimi, 20, who lives in the UK said: “It felt like a slap in the face for women.”
Argia Hernandez, 20, said: “There is no exception to banning abortion.”
Words: Elitsa Maymareva | Infographic and sub-editing: Ashreya Jimi