I’m here to observe and record the USA from the perspective of something I know a bit about. But I think it would be remiss not to mention something about which I know very little. Today, abortion is effectively illegal in the state of Texas. A new law has been passed making anyone seeking, carrying out or assisting an abortion subject to prosecution, with individual citizens empowered to take legal action against them. As a result, all abortion clinics in Texas have closed. Women who need a termination have to go outside the state. In a grotesque twist, apparently this can include travelling south to Mexico, at the same time that thousands of desperate people are trying to travel north from it.
There had been an expectation that the US Supreme Court would intervene to block the Texas law and uphold the 1973 Roe v Wade case that protects women’s right to choose. It didn’t. It’s not clear what will happen next, but there are several other anti-abortion laws being pursued in other US states and the Supreme Court is due to make a ruling on the issue in October.
Even in the context of recent history, it’s hard to think of a more reactionary moment than this. It’s a horrible reminder that the Trumpian forces are still active and have influence over some of the most powerful areas of the State. – and women’s bodies.
:Last week, the Supreme Court intervened to protect the assumed rights of landlords. Today, it has failed to protect the rights of women.