What are the consequences of abortion abolition in the United States for the world?

As a result of the global mobilization of feminist groups in the 1960s, Roe v. Wade judgment The entire United States was forced to legalize abortion. Its possible abolition could be a “symbol” that will “reinforce the anti-abortion movements” in the world, many researchers have warned.

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court, in its landmark ruling Roe v. Wade, decided that the right to respect for private life It is guaranteed by the constitution applicable to abortion. Voluntary termination of pregnancy has been approved in all states of the country.

But a draft Supreme Court ruling, revealed by the website Politico Information last week, found that there was nothing in the constitution to protect the right to abortion.

“Seeing a hegemonic country with the United States retreating from this right would have strong symbolic weight, and would give important dynamism to anti-abortion movements around the world. And the rhetoric would be: If the United States does not support this right anymore, why does it support?”

The right to abortion has recently expanded in countries with significant influence from the Catholic Church: Ireland in 2018, Argentina in 2020, Mexico in 2021, and Colombia this year.

If the attitude toward abortion at the federal level changes in the United States, this “could give legitimacy to the anti-abortion movements and their demands in some countries,” repeats Veronique Pronovost, who is doing her PhD at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

He warns that “bills that propose ‘framing’ the abortion law by adding restrictions on access to services (parental obligation to minors, prohibition of termination of pregnancy in the third trimester…) can henceforth be considered acceptable, and even advisable”, AFP .

Really complicated

“The biggest danger is that the ‘pro-choice’ position (free access to abortion) will be marginalized, and that from now on it will be considered ‘extremist’, just like the outright and simple prohibition of the right to abortion,” the sociologist insists.

Historian Bibia Pavard, of France’s Pantheon-Assas University, recalls that “many US states are already blocking the full right to abortion: Texas prohibits abortions when the fetal heart can be heard already, that is, at six weeks, while that Allowed elsewhere while the fetus is unable to live outside the womb, i.e. 24 weeks.”

“Other states require women to have ultrasounds to see the fetus, and they implement processes that make access to IVE (voluntary interruption of pregnancy) very complex,” he says. “It’s really complicated in several countries.”

According to Bibia Pavard, the “pro-life” movement, influential in the United States since Roe v. Wade, is a “model” of anti-abortion mobilization around the world. As was the case for the “pro-choice” mobilization of the 1960s, there is an “extensive circulation of arguments and people,” according to the historian.

According to her, in France, for example, the anti-abortion movements are renewing themselves, thanks to a new generation that has changed ways of communication, using social networks above all. For these groups, it would be “a symbol of success, because it would show that it was possible to undo a law that seemed guaranteed.”

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