Mitzi Rivas hugs her daughter Maya Iribarren during a protest for women's freedom to decide over their bodies at City Hall in San Francisco on June 24. Josie Lepe (AP)
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The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, with a conservative majority, to overturn the case Roe v. Wade (1973) divides in two the right of American women to have access to a legal and safe abortion.
It is estimated that more than 36 million women could be affected, those who live in the States in the hands of Republicans: while some of them already had laws ready that prohibit the interruption of pregnancy, others will do so in the coming months, which will affect especially those belonging to racial minorities and lower classes.
"There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion, but abortion remains legal in part of the US until the 15th week of pregnancy," she says in conversation with
Charo Valero, Florida manager of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice (NLIRH).
As he explains, the decision of the highest court will particularly harm the most vulnerable communities, among which are many Hispanics and migrants residing in the most restrictive states, who will face structural barriers if they decide to terminate their pregnancies.
“It's being seen in Texas: People who don't have the financial resources, transportation, days off from work, or care for children are being forced to remain pregnant and give birth against their will or seek services. of abortion outside the orbit of legal and safe abortions”, he points out.
The second most populous state in the US approved last September the so-called 'heartbeat law' that prohibits abortion from six weeks of gestation.
Now, Texans who decide to terminate their pregnancies have the option of going to those known as sanctuary states, those where abortion is legal and that are looking for formulas to become a refuge for women who live in places with legislation that prohibits it. .
Some Americans are also crossing the border to have an abortion in Mexico, a country that last September protected women's right to decide when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to criminalize those who decide to terminate their pregnancy.
But, as Valero warns, these options remain easier for those with resources.
“The concern is what happens to those who don't.
It's a vicious economic cycle," says NLIRH's Florida spokeswoman.
In the case of the women who come to your organization, for example, there are many recently arrived immigrants who do not speak English and who, either due to their lack of resources or their immigration status, would not be able to travel to another state or outside the country. in the likely event that Florida — a state in the hands of Republicans — decides to criminalize abortion.
That the decision to interrupt a pregnancy has an important economic dimension is not only seen on the ground, it is also said by economists, as the economic correspondent for EL PAÍS América Isabella Cota tells in this article.
“Studies mostly done in the United States show that the cost of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term is measured in high school dropout rates, reduced job opportunities and higher incomes, financial distress, less access to bank credit and a labor market that excludes to the mothers for being traditionally considered the caretakers of the family”, she explains.
In addition, as is the case in the Latin American countries that criminalize abortion in any circumstance (El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic), those who decide to interrupt their pregnancies in the most restrictive States will run the “danger of being investigated, having their their children, lose their livelihoods and even be imprisoned,” Valero warns.
And he shows his concern that what should be a fundamental right has become politicized with a Supreme Court with a conservative majority that former President Donald Trump shaped to his liking in the four years of his administration.
“There is no court or politician that should dictate who can have children, when, how many or under what circumstances.
They are fundamental rights and we are not going to stop fighting to raise awareness,
“Under the idea that it is not taking sides, the Superior Court has taken sides against the majority sense of the United States. Statistics show that the majority of people in the country do not believe that those who voluntarily terminate their pregnancy have to go to the prison,” agrees Macarena Sáenz, director of the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, in an interview with Georgina Zerega.
For her, the decision of the US Supreme Court is "a violation of human rights", "a sign of erosion of democracy" and endangers women in a country that does not guarantee access to public health.
"The health problems that are coming remain to be seen, but there is no reason to think that the United States will not have the same fate as Nicaragua or El Salvador," she adds.
The US ruling is motivating women's groups around the world to defend this right.
In Latin America, the long feminist struggle that has achieved important victories in recent years in the field of decriminalization is now inspiring American women to defend their reproductive rights, to the point that in the protests for legal and safe abortion in The typical green scarves popularized by Argentine feminists and which are a symbol on the continent have multiplied in the United States.
Protesters in favor of legal and safe abortion demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 30.
EVELYN HOCKSTEIN (REUTERS)
Mariana Ardila, a lawyer for Women's Link, says that several high courts in the region have become benchmarks beyond their countries.
“These courts have ruled recent landmark abortion cases with more comprehensive arguments and more current evidence than Roe.
They are the Roe of our times, determined with our realities and constitutional frameworks.
It is the so-called constitutionalism of the global south, recognized for issues such as the protection of social rights or the environment”, she wrote a few days ago regarding the decision of the United States.
Ardila gives the example of Colombia, which, with the ruling of the Constitutional Court at the beginning of this year, succeeded in decriminalizing abortion up to week 24, based on the right to human dignity, on equality between men and women, on the right to health and in the constitutional limits to criminal law.
Roe, meanwhile, writes the lawyer, relied solely on the constitutional protection of the freedom to decide without state interference in intimate matters.
“This set of arguments, those that remained in the Colombian sentence, not only grants, with limits, freedom to decide on abortion as Roe, but also greatly restricts the use of criminal law and forces to guarantee access without barriers and in equality. , something that Roe never directly protected.”
The lawyer recalls two other recent emblematic judicial decisions in the region.
In Mexico, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to criminalize abortion and called for guaranteeing access in a decision with federal effects.
In Ecuador, the Constitutional Court has urged the National Assembly to regulate and guarantee access by law, and recently decriminalized abortion in cases of rape.
“These are just a few examples of justice systems that have understood that criminalizing abortion and making it difficult to access does not save any life, but, on the contrary, delays the procedure and puts lives at risk.
It is towards this direction that laws and judicial decisions should move in the world and it is a lesson that the North should take from the global South”, writes Ardila,
These are our recommended articles of the week:
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🎧 A podcast: Letters
From the south of the continent, we propose a very special chapter of
, an Argentine podcast in which artists give voice to letters from different periods and themes.
"Epistolar is committed to rescuing the value of the word, slow counting and thought," write Diego Jemio and Tomás Sprei in the presentation of their project.
The one we want to propose to you today is a combative and brilliant letter that, unfortunately, is still valid more than 200 years later.
It is a letter from the writer and philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneer of feminism and author of
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
The letter, read by actress Victoria Lerario, is Wollstonecraft's response to an acquaintance who suggests marrying after a divorce as a way to regain social respectability.
A workshop: Reading and discussion on contemporary Mexican poets.
By Anna Lagos
The Mexican poet Mercedes Alvarado, author of
Days of long light
(Elefanta Editorial, 2020) and
Notes from some time
(Verso Destierro, 2013) and who has published in Mexico, the US, Spain, Portugal and Norway, has made a meticulous selection of literary texts to talk about authors who have been active in the last 70 years in Mexico.
In the Contemporary Mexican Poets
—which will take place in an old mansion in Colonia Cuauhtémoc, in Mexico City, on Río Rhin 17, on Wednesdays in July at 7:00 p.m.— special emphasis will be placed on contemporary women authors who have resignified concepts from his poetic work.
If you live in Mexico City, you can reserve your place by writing an email to: email@example.com