UK joins US as protests erupt after ‘devastating’ decision to abolish abortion rights

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade’s landmark ruling that is expected to make abortion illegal in nearly half of US states, sparking protests in the US and abroad.

Protesters gather in London and Edinburgh
Protesters gather in London and Edinburgh

Protests erupted in the United Kingdom after a “devastating” decision to abolish the constitutional right to abortion in the United States was widely criticized.

The US Supreme Court has ended the constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years with its decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

It is expected to lead to abortion bans in nearly half of US states.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it a “big step back” and hundreds took to the streets of London and Edinburgh to demonstrate against the decision.

At a protest outside the US Embassy in Vauxhall, south London, protesters, some in costumes, carried signs reading “Our bodies, our choice”.

A protester holds a banner supporting abortion rights outside the US Embassy in London

Judith Orr, vice president of the abortion rights group that claims to have organized the demonstration, said the protesters were “full of anger and anger”.

In the Scottish capital, pro-choice activists and members of civil society gathered outside the US Consulate.

British politicians from across the spectrum spoke out against the decision, including Mr Johnson, who told reporters at a news conference in Kigali, Rwanda: “I have always believed in a woman’s right to choose.”

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer wrote on Twitter: “Today’s devastating Supreme Court ruling represents a major setback for women’s rights in the USA.

“A woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body is a fundamental human right.”

The decision was widely criticized

Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party said she would encourage anti-abortion and anti-women forces in other countries as well.

Former leader Jeremy Corbyn called it “devastating” and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said it was “a truly barbaric ruling, and heartbreaking news for women everywhere”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote on Twitter: “London stands with the women of America whose fundamental rights and freedoms are threatened by this ruling.

A dark day for a great country.

Rabbi Jonathan Roman said, “America should prepare for unwanted children, street abortions, and suicides. Abortion should not be taken lightly, adoption is another option, but outsiders should not take away a woman’s control over her body.”

“Her right to choose is a sacred right.”

Protesters carrying banners and placards

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAs), the UK’s leading provider of abortion, said it was “appalling” and called on the UK government to publicly condemn the “assault on women’s human rights”.

However, the Christian charity Action, Research and Education (Care) welcomed the decision, saying that “the most compassionate communities respect and protect” both mothers and children.

Right to Life UK spokeswoman Catherine Robinson said the ruling was repealing an “unfair law” and seen as “the beginning of the legislative battle over abortion, and certainly not the end”.

Protests erupted in the United States against this move.

After the ruling was passed in the United States, a crowd of abortion supporters swelled to hundreds outside the Supreme Court.

Elizabeth Kelly, Treasurer for Democrats Abroad, UK, addresses protesters

“Legal abortion on demand” and “This decision must not stand,” one shouted into a megaphone. “The Supreme Court is illegitimate,” some chanted.

“It’s a painful day for those of us who support women’s rights,” said Ithaca resident Laura Frye and historian of women’s rights who came to Washington to conduct research. When she learned of the decision, she said, “I had to come here.”

A rival faction demonstrated in favor of the ruling, holding placards that read “The Future is Against Abortion” and “Dismember Roe.”

There were reports of widespread protests across the United States, including in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Miami and Oklahoma.

The Democratic governors of California, Washington and Oregon have pledged to protect reproductive rights and help women who travel to the West Coast to have an abortion.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a video statement announcing the plans, along with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, that the three states are building a “West Coast crime” to protect patients’ access to reproductive care.

The states issued a “Multi-State Commitment,” saying they would work together to advocate for patients and medical professionals who provide reproductive health care.

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