|Last Friday the US Supreme Court did the unthinkable.
Roe vs Wade, the legal precedent that had protected the right to an abortion since 1973, was overturned. Since the ruling, nine states have enforced bans to stop abortions taking place and many more are expected to follow. Fundamental rights have disappeared overnight, and more hard fought civil rights are expected to be reconsidered by the conservative majority Supreme Court.
Jessica Glenza reports on the profound consequences of this decision. She questions: who will this ruling affect the most? If measured by distance travelled in order to obtain an abortion, that's Louisiana. If measured by those most likely to experience complications from an unwanted pregnancy, Glenza suggested Mississippi which has a large population of African America women who disproportionately suffer from poor maternal outcomes.
Furthermore, statistically the women most likely to seek abortions are already mothers - if forced to have another child they are more likely to live in poverty, less likely to be able to bond with that child and more likely to experience domestic abuse. However, every woman in America will be impacted by this decision, including states where abortion remains legal where facilities will likely be overrun with patients travelling from afar. In turn, this could peril wanted pregnancies with the threat of doctors leaving states that are hostile to abortion.
Beyond abortion rights, one of the justices in the Supreme Court has said he would like to reconsider such other fundamental civil rights as the right to same sex marriage, same sex intimacy and contraception. What is happening in the US is not completely divorced from us in the UK and threatens to mobilise anti-abortion groups globally.