Roe v. Wade’s Demise Might Affect Abortion Worldwide

Abortion rights activists worry the Supreme Court’s move to overturn Roe v. Wade might restrict access to the operation in other nations and damage the worldwide reproductive rights movement.

Besides the Green Wave initiative, many Catholic nations in Latin America, notably Colombia and Mexico, have legalized abortion.

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Ireland took the same step. South Korea recently abolished a 66-year-old abortion prohibition. 

Activists fear the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision might fuel anti-abortion organizations, overturning hard-fought progress or restricting efforts to broaden abortion rights globally. 

Global Influence

Giselle Carino, CEO of global reproductive rights coalition Fs Feminista, said what happens in the US affects everyone worldwide.

She said the reversal of abortion rights is a more significant undermining of democratic systems in the U.S. and other countries. 

Marcia Soumokil, head of abortion support group Ipas Indonesia, thinks overturning Roe v. Wade will justify Indonesian authorities by signaling abortion availability is “not a human right.”  

In many corners of the globe, the U.S. is considered an agenda-setter, with legislators alluding to U.S. domestic policy when debating reproductive rights, racism, and police abuse. 

Ipas senior institutional and legislative adviser, Bethany Van Kampen Saravia, said the U.S. has a “massive, outsized influence” on modern global contraceptives, women’s health, and maternal and newborn health initiatives. 

She said the U.S. is the major supporter of such programs, noting stringent abortion rules currently in place hinder abortion access, such as the Global Gag Rule.

This prohibits foreign groups receiving U.S. funds from offering abortion data, referrals, or procedures. 

She said as American abortion legislation tightens, so might U.S. financing for women’s and family services internationally. She noted overturning Roe v. Wade supports anti-abortion rights players in other nations and undermines reproductive rights advocates. 

Signal to Other World Nations

Susan Yanow, a U.S. spokesman for Women Help Women, is enthusiastic about the abortion rights movement in South America.

She said our status as world leaders has changed. She says this because she hopes the reforms in Latin America are better than in the U.S. 

Yanow said U.S. policy might limit abortion access outside the U.S., even if abortion rights groups in Latin America continue to expand. 

U.S. international health policies “affect people’s lives enormously, regardless of abortion access,” she said. 

Yanow made reference to the U.S.-educated abortion doctors and nurses worldwide. She stated the US is a resource for training abortion doctors and nurses. Changing these programs would hurt internationally. 

Yanow and Carino said the overthrow of Roe v. Wade symbolizes deteriorating democracy in the U.S., which might hurt the country’s standing overseas. 

Carino said dictatorial or totalitarian governments, like the previous US administration, do harm that lasts considerably longer than a year. 

Licha Nyiendo, general counsel officer of Human Rights First, said the leak of the Supreme Court judgment overturning Roe v. Wade was a hazardous step. 

Overturning Roe would send a “frightening signal to totalitarians worldwide.”

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