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The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade is expected to have stripped 36 million American women of their right to abortion care, as restrictions on reproductive rights are expected to kick in across the country.
And while the Roe v Wade reversal relates to US law, campaigners have warned that abortion rights in the UK are also unsafe.
“The Abortion Act of 1967 and our ability to terminate a pregnancy are in the hands of politicians, and in the last 10 years we have seen a series of parliamentary attempts to restrict abortion safely and legally,” explained Katherine O’Brien. , Associate Director at British Pregnancy Advisory Service. “These groups have strong ties to their US counterparts, and we would be concerned that they will escalate activity if Roe v Wade is overturned.”
“At any time, parliament could try to restrict women’s access,” another BPAS spokesperson added, via the Independent. “In recent years, several parliamentarians who oppose the right to decide have tried to do just that, and we must be constantly vigilant.”
This week, Danny Kruger MP expressed his thoughts on Roe v Wade and access to abortion in the UK, and his controversial comments are a frightening reminder that we cannot be complacent about our reproductive rights.
“The facts are that I would probably not agree with most of the members who have spoken so far on this issue,” the MP announced during a parliamentary debate on overturning Roe v Wade. “They think that women have an absolute right of bodily autonomy in this matter, while I believe that in the case of abortion, that right is qualified by the fact that it is about another body.”
When challenged by other MPs, Kruger continued: “I would say to members who are trying to dissuade me that this is a suitable topic for political debate and my point to the front is that I don’t understand why we are giving a lecture. United States on a ruling to return the decision-making power on this political question to the states, to democratic decision-makers, instead of leaving it in the hands of the courts.”
“Do you think what you see in the US couldn’t happen here?” tweeted Stella Creasy, an MP for Walthamstow, after the Supreme Court ruling. “So you don’t understand who is organizing in UK politics. No one thought the United States Supreme Court would strike down a previously granted right either… These attacks on women’s rights will not stop. To be prepared.”
“The most important thing people in the UK can do to support abortion rights is to be loud and unabashedly pro-choice.” Abortion Support Network founder Mara Clarke told the Independent.
“The anti-abortion population is less than 10 per cent of the UK population. We are the majority in favor of the right to decide, and we should speak frequently not only about abortion, but about all reproductive health issues.”
We will continue to update this story.