When Sydney Harper, producer of the New York Times’ podcast the Daily, went to the Supreme Court of the United States in the wake of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, she talked to a bystander who was “shocked” to see a large celebration of anti-abortion activists outside the courthouse.
The chants rang out through cities and towns around the world as protesters defiantly challenged the US Supreme Court’s 1 July decision to end national access to abortion: “We won’t go back!” and “Our bodies! Our lives! Our right to decide!”
Red Flag recently spoke to Liz Walsh, Victorian Socialists upper house candidate for Western Metro and organiser of the 15,000-strong abortion rights rally in Melbourne on 2 July. We started by asking her what prompted her to call the rally.
In the late 1960s, cryptic notes began to appear on poles and noticeboards around Chicago, directing women who were pregnant and in trouble to “call Jane”. The number provided connected them to the Jane Collective (officially the Abortion Counselling Service of Women’s Liberation), an underground network of activists providing illegal abortions in the years before the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. This collective is the subject of The Janes, a new HBO documentary directed by Emma Pildes and Tia Lessin.
Around the US, tens of thousands have hit the streets slamming the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established abortion as a right. In Manhattan, a large crowd of young, multiracial activists marched, chanting “Fuck the Supreme Court!”
Women’s rights in the US are at a critical juncture. A leaked draft Supreme Court judgement indicates that five conservative judges support overturning the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that established a woman’s right to abortion as a constitutional right.