Why is the U.S. failing to lead the way in securing and protecting abortion rights?
by Kristyn Brandi, MD, MPH
April 24, 2022
In the last few years, a wave of court rulings and laws decriminalizing abortion have swept across Latin America, on the backs of pro-abortion activists like those in Argentina's Green Wave who "did the unthinkable" by delivering unprecedented victories for reproductive rights in the region.
In December 2020 Argentina's legislature made abortion legal up to 14-weeks in pregnancy; last September, Mexico's Supreme Court decriminalized abortion, paving the way for legalization; and just this past month, Colombia decriminalized abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) just released new abortion care guidelines that affirm a wide range of options for safely managing abortions. And for the first time, WHO recommended health officials and other policymakers recognize that people can safely self-manage all or parts of their abortion with abortion pills or through the use of telehealth services.
By Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks
March/April 2022 (posted Feb 8)
The pantheon of autocratic leaders includes a great many sexists, from Napoléon Bonaparte, who decriminalized the murder of unfaithful wives, to Benito Mussolini, who claimed that women “never created anything.” And while the twentieth century saw improvements in women’s equality in most parts of the world, the twenty-first is demonstrating that misogyny and authoritarianism are not just common comorbidities but mutually reinforcing ills. Throughout the last century, women’s movements won the right to vote for women; expanded women’s access to reproductive health care, education, and economic opportunity; and began to enshrine gender equality in domestic and international law—victories that corresponded with unprecedented waves of democratization in the postwar period. Yet in recent years, authoritarian leaders have launched a simultaneous assault on women’s rights and democracy that threatens to roll back decades of progress on both fronts.
Abortion Bans are an Attack on Democracy
The South has traditionally been a battleground for the some of the biggest conflicts that shape today’s democracy. Current abortion bans in states like Georgia and Alabama are no exception.
by Deborah Brown
These laws deny people basic freedom to make decisions over their own bodies, and they are part of a centuries-long assault on civil rights that began at our nation’s founding. Attacks on reproductive rights are deeply intertwined with years of attacks on voter rights, particularly for people of color. Restrictions on the fundamental right to decide if, when and how to have children are part of a larger effort to distort democracy, in the service of a small number of extremists, by suppressing freedom and rights for the majority.
It’s not an accident that recent attacks on abortion and voting rights coincide with a rising tide of corporate influence in politics and a wave of political extremism that have made racist tweets from lawmakers, shootings at elementary schools and images of immigrant children in cages common features of American life. These attacks are often even set into motion by the same people.