On June 24, the United States annulled the historic Roe vs. Wade decision that constitutionally protected the right to abortion in the country. Along with Poland, El Salvador and Nicaragua, The United States joins the group of States that are going backwards in terms of access to abortion.
This kind of retrograde policies does not only apply to pregnant people in States where abortion is restricted or prohibited, but also threatens human rights globally. This is because, despite how the discourse has deteriorated into one of divisive politics (left/right, liberal/conservative), access to safe abortion is a human rights issue.
Limiting access to abortion is fundamentally a form of discrimination and a major obstacle to effective democracy.
Abortions are not limited by their prohibition – this only pushes people in already precarious situations underground. The health, well-being and autonomy of many people depend on access to safe abortion. With the backward steps of the United States, it sets the world a dangerous precedent and risks fueling anti-abortion and anti-rights sentiments globally.
It is possible that the trend towards the constitutional protection of abortion that has been observed in recent decades will be put in danger, since even a country whose public policy abroad claims to be based on the search for human rights and equality can back, what is it that has countries like Argentina and Mexico with important religious influence to do the same?
This kind of policy, furthermore, does not stop with abortion, but rather opens the door to reevaluating various decisions regarding the family, its meaning, and individual guarantees.
Roe vs. Wade may not have a direct impact on you, but the inequity ultimately affects us all. This is what it means to live in society, and what democracy represents: the rights of the other are as firm as one’s own.