The American Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling has made headlines across the world. Although the world is made up of many independent countries, they are all connected.
No country can make such a big decision, without influencing the others on an international scale. The United States of America (USA), being a powerful political actor, has the influence to potentially create an international trend of restricting reproductive rights.
What has happened in the USA
The future of women’s reproductive rights in the United States remains unclear. However, there have already been significant changes that show backsliding. Thirteen states have already passed trigger laws, automatically banning abortion as of the Supreme Court’s decision. However, specifics have yet to be announced.
Sources have also released statements saying there are at least half of the 50 American states that want to add strict restrictions for abortion services. The European Greens have stated that not only does this situation show the vulnerability of women’s rights, but it reveals the absence of protection of these rights in Europe.
“The end of Roe vs. Wade marks a dangerous step back on reproductive healthcare and women’s rights. We must now take the necessary steps to safeguard safe and legal abortions as a fundamental right across Europe and abroad.”
What this Means for Europe
Abortion is a controversial issue in Europe as well. There are six countries in the European Union that have severe restrictions on abortion, while three countries have it completely banned. This shows that the fight for women’s reproductive rights is not only important in America, but Europe as well.
The danger lies in a potential wave of regression. Similarly to the United States, abortion laws in Europe can easily be overturned since they are not included in any fundamental charter of human rights. European countries who already have stern restrictions regarding abortion could be persuaded to act as the United States has. Currently, there are far-right and conservative government-appointed judges who actively fight against increasing abortion rights.
Even in countries without legal obstacles, women often face severe financial, cultural and informational barriers. As in Italy, for instance, where 7 out of 10 gynecologists refuse to perform abortions.
This is an important moment for women’s rights; to stop the reproductive rights backlash by showing how banning abortion will have more negative consequences than positives.
How to Fight the Right to Abortion
The European Greens want the right to abortion to be included in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. By criminalizing abortion, the government is actively politicizing women’s bodies in a very dangerous way. They are being robbed of their decision-making autonomy regarding their own bodies.
This politicization of women’s bodies can, and eventually will, lead to unsafe sexual and reproductive healthcare, increase maternal and infant mortality, and increase child abuse or neglect. The European Greens are fighting for safe reproductive rights and encourage member parties to do the same by bringing the voices of women to the forefront of electoral campaigns.
By protecting abortion rights with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the EU is protecting all women from politicization, and protecting them from and unsafe and life-threatening situations. All women should have power over their own body.