“A feminist is someone who defines themselves as such.” The young man’s next words, dark suit, tie, sunglasses, are drowned out by the angry response of the young girls who lined up in front of him.
What has gotten the girls angry is the sign he’s holding that reads “I am a prolife feminist” — no, men and women who want to ban abortion are the opposite of feminists, they shout.
The scene takes place on Friday afternoon in front of the marble steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, where hundreds of protesters have gathered. A few hours earlier, a judgment had been announced here that sent powerful shock waves rolling through the country.
The conservative majority of the Supreme Court has rejected the landmark decision “Roe v. Wade” that guaranteed a federal right to abortion. This gave the states the power to enact their own laws, which in the case of Republican-governed states are much stricter, going as far as a complete ban on abortion.
It was a move many had feared since then-President Donald Trump was able to shift the court majority to the right with the appointment of three conservative judges.
At the same time, it is a decision that many simply cannot grasp. First and foremost US President Joe Biden, who spoke up from the White House a good two hours after the verdict was announced.
“It shakes me,” says the Democrat at one point about the verdict. Poor women in particular would be affected. “I think this is a sad day for our country, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over.”
The many young women before the Supreme Court are also combative. “I’m angry, and it’s terrible that something like this had to happen for us all to come together here,” says Andrea Barrera from Phoenix, Arizona.
Arizona is one of 13 conservative states that have prepared legislation in the event Roe v. Wade” is omitted. “In Arizona, women are now banned from having an abortion,” says the 38-year-old, which is not entirely true: Specifically, the law passed by the Republican majority prohibits all abortions after the 15th week, unless the mother’s life is in danger.
She is here, says Barrera, to say to those responsible: “Take your hands off our bodies.” From now on she will help women to travel to another state for an abortion.
Like Barrera, many are determined not to take the chief justices’ ruling lightly. “We are not going back” read posters outside the court and “I will continue to assist with abortions”.
“Planned Parenthood”, the most important provider of abortions in the USA, immediately reaffirms its intention to continue to campaign for the right to abortion. And the organizers of the “Women’s March” call for a “summer of anger”.