The U.S. Can’t Be a Global Leader on Democracy While Banning Abortion at Home

by ELENA SARVER, Ms. Magazine

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in a case that could set off a new era of abortion bans across much of the country. It also marked the start of President Biden’s Democracy Summit, a high-level conference bringing together world leaders, civil society and the private sector to discuss challenges and opportunities facing democracy internationally. One of the stated themes of this first of two planned summits is a focus on human rights.

The proximity of these two moments is more than mere coincidence. Yes, the U.S. faces an unprecedented crisis for the right to abortion. But we must also recognize the numerous links between democracy and reproductive rights. A most basic and fundamental freedom in a democracy is the ability to control decision-making around one’s own reproduction. When this freedom is removed, it threatens the ability of half of the country’s population to participate equally in society. So, if the U.S. hopes to credibly host a marquee event to promote its return to global democratic leadership, it must contend with cracks in that facade here at home.


USA – Abortion Is Essential to Democracy (10 article series)

Ms. Magazine
November 9, 2021

After S.B. 8 went into effect in Texas on September 1, and following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 egregious ruling allowing its enforcement, a cohort of staff from across the Brennan Center for Justice came together to show solidarity, express outrage, and articulate a response. That conversation morphed into an electrifying brainstorm with Ms., the result of which is captured in the array of essays published below. 

The Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute affiliated with NYU Law, is a central and invaluable leader in the fight for democracy and justice in America. Every day, it works to protect voting rights, ensure free and fair elections, champion a diverse judiciary, and advocate for equal justice.

By formally joining our voices, we hope to demonstrate that the fight for abortion rights, the fight for equality, and the fight for representative democracy are all in service of the same goal: justice for all.