It is now official that the Senate of the United States of America has rejected the measure proposed by the Democrats to guarantee abortion throughout the country. Sixty votes in favor out of 100 were needed to approve the Democrats' proposal, but they only reached 49. The votes against came entirely from the Republican wing, known for its conservative positions.
Additionally, Democrat Joe Manchin also voted against the proposal due to his well-known anti-abortion stance. Heated debates were triggered as a crucial point regarding the year's midterm elections.
The focus consists of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade's historical process of 1973. This ruling guaranteed access to termination of pregnancy, but any reversal would undermine federal protection protecting this right.
The immediate consequence would be that this right would be subject to the will of individual states. The Guttmacher Institute said that, out of all the forms of Central America, probably at least 26 states would make termination of abortion.
The need to discuss this issue arises from the will of the Mississippi state to recognize its abortion law or make abortion illegal after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy (even in the case of rape). Consequently, the Supreme Court decided to analyze the Mississippi State's request about the Roe v Wade case. No wonder such a decision was made once Trump appointed three judges from the most conservative faction.
In recent years, many states (such as Texas and Oklahoma) have taken increasingly aggressive instances against the right to abortion, prompting the Republican party to speed up operations to overturn the 1973 ruling. Despite these trends, President Joe Biden expressed total solidarity with the demonstrators who protested the will to make abortion illegal.
This news is becoming increasingly controversial, especially at a historical moment when some nearby countries, initially reluctant, such as Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia, have finally legalized abortion. If the will of the Republicans wins, it is objective to speak of a total regression. Indeed, the consequences could be tragic.
The right to abortion should be protected, considering pregnancies resulting from rape or forced incest. Denying it would discriminate against victims of sexual assaults without allowing them to decide their future. Furthermore, many women would apply dangerous abortion methods and clandestine abortions. As rightly pointed out by the newspaper "Il Fatto Quotidiano," women with more significant economic difficulties will pay the highest price. If many states prohibited the right to abortion, this category of people would opt for the solutions listed above, with the severe health consequences that would ensue.
Currently, 60% of women of childbearing age live in countries where the right to abortion is protected, while the remaining 40% are not covered in cases of willingness to abort. Within these percentages, we can see intrinsic differences in each country: the countries that prohibit abortion are 26, and 39 are the countries that allow abortion only if the eventual birth would risk killing the mother. At the same time, 56 they consider it legal only to safeguard the mother's physical health. In another 14 states, to allow abortion, the impact of pregnancy on the mother is assessed in social and economic terms.
Finally, 67 countries freely allow abortion. One hundred seventy-nine governments signed a document proclaiming their commitment to combat dangerous and clandestine abortions. Indeed, the denial of safe abortion was declared a violation of the right to freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Considering these data, we should return to the International Conference on Population and Development held in 1994 at El-Cairo.
At first glance, in absolute terms, in these 28 years, progress has been made regarding the protection of women. But, in most countries that allow abortion under certain conditions, we note that the discriminating factor is the physical-economic-social condition of the woman and not the will of the same. This indeed represents the more significant limitation toward the aims of at El-Cairo.
Citing another global goal, namely the SDGs, we see how relevant this issue is. Good health and well-being, gender equality, and partnership for the purposes are three crucial aims mentioned in the list of those to be achieved in 2030. We cannot expect to achieve them if we do not allow women complete decision-making freedom on such an important step. But in this process, the role of international collaboration in confirming human rights and following shared guidelines becomes vital.
The debate is delicate and cultural factors determine the position of governments. Consequently, a country like the United States must show that it fully understands the terrible consequences of a possible sentence reversal on the world panorama. Conversely, a final decision on the legality of abortion could help the international community promote this goal around the world. The European Union, where most member countries have declared themselves in favor of this right, will try to encourage Washington to guarantee federal abortion protections. But the abolition of the law in America would risk triggering a worrying "domino effect,", especially among the yet reluctant or undecided countries.
Creating ad hoc laws based on the several pregnancies circumstances would be confusing. It is equally valid that pregnancies are often carried out without the appropriate social and economic conditions. This is tangible in geographic areas with a higher birth rate and more precarious socio-economic conditions. Underestimating such a vital step often leads parents not to be ready and prepared to raise children most appropriately, condemning sons to degrade lives.
But if this is a well-founded discourse, it cannot be connected to the right to have an abortion. In addition to the cases of rape, episodes come to light in which the contraceptive methods do not work, generating an unwanted pregnancy. Regarding issues that affect only and exclusively the person concerned and their family, society should show solidarity to defend freedom of choice.
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