Abortion is a world-wide topic this week, as the U.S. is on the verge of letting healthcare protections collapse.
On Monday, a draft was leaked of the U.S. Supreme Court’s pending decision about Roe v. Wade. And according to the draft, the 49-year-old case will be overturned, removing federal protection against states seeking to restrict women’s rights to control over their healthcare.
This ruling puts the United States on a regressive path opposite most of the rest of the world.
In the last few months, even socially conservative countries have been moving towards pro-choice legislation. Colombia, for instance, which is heavily Catholic, just legalized abortion before 24 weeks, the current age of viability.
Last year, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that criminalizing abortion was unconstitutional. 32 Mexican states still have laws outlawing the practice, but those laws are now toothless against both patients and doctors.
The statistics from countries where abortion is still banned or criminalized only prove what pro-choice advocates have always said – outlawing abortion does very little to reduce the number of abortions performed. It only reduces the number of people who survive them.
“While moves to decriminalize and legalize abortion in places like Argentina, Ireland, Mexico and Colombia in the last few years have been a huge win for the global community,” Agnes Callamard, secretary-general of the human rights group Amnesty International, said in a statement, “there are grim signs that the United States is out of step with the progress that the rest of the world is making in protecting sexual and reproductive rights.”
If Roe v. Wade is struck down, as appears inevitable at this point, 29 out of 50 states have bills either already passed or in the work to heavily restrict, ban, or criminalize abortion. 13 states may pass laws like that in Texas, where “concerned citizens” can turn in people they suspect of aiding an abortion for a cash bounty.
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