The decision to overturn Roe v Wade has sent shockwaves across the globe. No longer is a woman's right to an abortion a right in the United States. Her decisions, her control over her own body, are now very much outside of her control, decided instead by people in power, many of whom don't even have a uterus.
While Australia is mere days away from decriminalising abortion in every state, the pain is felt and shared for our counterparts in America. It is a harrowing reminder that women are still treated as second class citizens, even in parts of the world which are supposed to be 'progressive.'
If you are as outraged as the news as we are, below you can find a list of solidarity rallies taking place across Australia in the coming days. We are stronger together, and we must make noise in a bid to show our dissent.
abortion rallies in australia
The landmark decision to overturn Roe v Wade came as a result of conservative judges holding a 6-3 majority in the US Supreme Court, with three justices carefully put into positions of power by former US President Donald Trump.
The court was already considering a case titled Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organisation, which was fighting against a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — much earlier than the foetal viability threshold established by Roe at 24 weeks. During their deliberations, the court's six conservative members deemed the Roe decision to be "egregiously wrong."
"We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," the majority wrote in its opinion, referencing the 1992 case titled Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which was also struck down.
"The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision … Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences."
"It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives," they concluded, meaning that the legality of abortion will now be decided on a state-by-state basis.
Within just 12 hours, 17 states moved to criminalise abortion, with more states predicted to follow suit.
The decision is a devastating blow for anyone with a uterus. In the same week that the United States criminalised abortion in 17 states, it also expanded gun rights, meaning that firearms are better protected by law than women.
While it feels as though we are living in an alternate, dystopian reality, this is very much real life. Women in the United States might lose their lives over this. Eight states have already ruled that abortion will still be illegal if the pregnancy has come as a result of rape or incest. If someone living in America wishes to terminate a pregnancy and lives in a state where it is illegal, they will be forced to either travel interstate or conduct a "self-managed abortion" by using medication or other means.
Speaking to The Guardian, Marie Stopes' managing director Jamal Hakim, said that access to abortions would become a "postcode lottery" across the country, mostly causing harm to lower income and migrant women.
The decision doesn't just affect abortion, either. Several experts have already predicted that contraception, same-sex and interracial marriages could be targeted next, in a seemingly never-ending conservative push for power.
We cannot and will not stand for this. It's time to show up, speak out and stand tall.