We stand in solidarity with women and marginalised communities all across America

Thursday, 30th June

• ON Friday afternoon, six unelected, overwhelmingly male, judges ruled against the Jackson Women’s Health Organisation and struck down the right to a safe and legal abortion in the United States of America.

This outcome had long been expected. Especially since March, when the draft opinion was leaked and the fear of many, that a Supreme Court heavily stacked with anti-choice, Donald Trump-appointed justices would curtail the right to an abortion, became all too apparent.

Since the 1970s the desire to ban abortion has been an all encompassing obsession for conservatives and the fringe “right” of American politics.

Since women were first guaranteed the right to an abortion by the Roe v Wade ruling in 1973, there has been an orchestrated and well-funded movement determined to reverse this historic ruling.

The overturning of that decision on Friday was nonetheless deeply heart-breaking and shocking.

The long-term consequences of this ruling for women and pregnant people in America will only fully unravel over the coming years, but its immediate impact has already began taking shape.

On Saturday morning numerous US states immediately introduced draconian bans on abortion in direct response.

Banning abortions does not stop the need for them, it just bans safe ones and places the carrier’s life at serious risk.

The Supreme Court’s decision is beyond regressive; it reverses decades of progress and puts America behind almost every other free nation in guaranteeing basic human rights.

In 2018, when the Republic of Ireland finally repealed their ban on abortion, it was in part due to a national outcry following the preventable death of Savita Halappanavar after she suffered a septic miscarriage for which she was denied an abortion.

It is distressing to think of all the women in America whose life will now be put in grave danger, just like Savita Halappanavar.

While other countries are progressing forwards, six judges in the world’s most powerful country have chosen to do the opposite and send their country back to a more uncaring and repressive era.

The freedom to choose in America isn’t just about abortion; and it doesn’t just impact women and pregnant people. It is also about access to health care and defending basic human rights.

Women are able to become fuller participants in society as a whole when they have autonomy, freedom and independence in their lives.

We, in the UK, should not be complacent in believing this is a uniquely American issue. Not when women in Northern Ireland are still awaiting access to the right to abortion care, a right granted to them in 2020 but still not implemented some two years later.

We must be aware of the dangerous precedent that the Supreme Court has just set. It could lead to a raft of hard-won rights being struck down.

Previous court rulings on equal marriage, access to contraception and same-sex relationships are now all at risk of being eroded or struck down for good.

Progress in our country, and globally, is never guaranteed. It must be fought for every day.

Today we stand in solidarity with women and marginalised communities all across America.

CLLR SAGAL ABDI-WALI
CLLR AJOK ATHIAN
CLLR KEMI ATOLAGBE
CLLR LOTIS BAUTISTA
CLLR SIÂN BERRY
CLLR ANNA BURRAGE
CLLR PAT CALLAGHAN
CLLR NINA DE AYALA PARKER
CLLR JUDY DIXEY
CLLR NASRINE DJEMAI
CLLR REBECCA FILER
CLLR SABRINA FRANCIS
CLLR GEORGIA GOULD
CLLR LORNA GREENWOOD
CLLR SHARON HARDWICK
CLLR JENNY HEADLAM-WELLS
CLLR HEATHER JOHNSON
CLLR NANCY JIRIRA
CLLR SAMATA KHATOON
CLLR IZZY LENGA
CLLR SYLVIA MCNAMARA
CLLR JENNY MULHOLLAND
CLLR NAZMA RAHMAN
CLLR LARRAINE REVAH
CLLR NADIA SHAH
CLLR NANOUCHE UMEADI
CLLR SUE VINCENT
CLLR ANNA WRIGHT

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