Upending Roe vs Wade threatens women’s rights in the US and all over the world

Upending Roe vs Wade threatens women’s rights in the US and all over the world

The Court today overturned Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision which has protected women’s right to abortion as a constitutional right for over 50 years. Around half of US states have already signalled that they will effectively ban abortion. 

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is scandalous. Half of the population will not have the right to decide over their own bodies. This is a question of gender equality, but also of civil and fundamental human rights. Poorer women, and women from different racial and minority groups will be even more affected by this. It will exacerbate social inequalities and threaten women’s lives. 
“The right to legally access an abortion must be recognised internationally, in the US, in all EU countries, and beyond. As socialists and social democrats, as feminists, we are fighting to ensure women’s right to bodily autonomy. Today’s decision threatens that right for women all over the world.”

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:

“It has been proven time and time again that bans on abortion never stop abortions from happening, it will end safe abortions. We have data from Poland, where the conservative government has implemented an almost total ban on abortion, that there is a huge risk to women’s lives. 
“Several women have died because healthcare professionals are afraid and confused by the laws. Many women are traveling to other countries to access healthcare – that is, those who can afford to travel. Others are resorting to clandestine places, or face legal consequences for helping others, such as is the case of activist Justyna Wydrzynska who will be put on trial on 14 July. This is what will happen next in the US. It makes us think of the Handmaid’s Tale as a prophecy, instead of a dystopian novel. We must act to protect women’s rights everywhere in the world!”

 Earlier this week, progressive forces in the Polish parliament – led by Lewica – put forward a bill to allow and extend access to abortion in Poland, which has some of the most draconian laws in Europe. Progressives secured the debate after collecting over 200,000 signatures from polish citizens – more than double the amount required. The bill was ultimately rejected, after conservatives Law and Justice (PiS), nationalists Konfederacja, and EPP-affiliated Polish Coalition voted against it.
On 17 June, PES Women and Lewica hosted a Twitter Spaces debate on abortion in the US and the EU to discuss the implications of this development in the US. Participants included PES Women President Zita Gurmai; Wanda Nowicka and Katarzyna Kotula from member party Nova Lewica; Maria Noichl, MEP and S&D Coordinator in FEMM; Ellen O’Sullivan, Chair of Irish Labour Women; Gillian Kane, Senior Advisor at IPAS; and Natalia Broniarczyk and Justyna Wydrzynska From Abortion Dream Team.