Why you should care
Political fights over abortion have drawn headlines in the United States. But abortion-rights and anti-abortion activists are making waves around the world.
The potential to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision confirming the American right to abortion, is an all-consuming one for American activists on both abortion-rights and anti-abortion sides of the spectrum. But that’s not the only fight over a woman’s body. This OZY original series will take you around the world to look at abortion activism — from Argentina to Morocco — and take you back to historical battles over abortion in the U.S. and abroad — and their far-reaching consequences.
This North African country has seen a rising clamor for more women’s rights, including a savvy media operation attempting to convince a skeptical populace via a combination of reason (women who can’t seek legal abortions are more likely to seek unsafe illegal ones) and religion (the Quran doesn’t expressly ban abortion). Still, it’s an uphill battle in a sexually conservative nation.
An outspoken advocate for women’s rights, Carla Pitiot is a deputy in the Argentine government. But that doesn’t mean she’s for a woman’s right to choose. Instead, Pitiot — who considers herself Catholic but doesn’t practice any religion — is hoping to increase access to contraception and social services to render abortion unnecessary.
When Planned Parenthood went with Wen as its new leader, it was doubling down on its role as a scientific institution. But with her ouster this summer, OZY journalist Nick Fouriezos questions whether Planned Parenthood is more concerned about politics than about women’s health.
The mid-’60s saw a totally different Republican Party from the one we know today. That GOP actually had strong connections to Planned Parenthood, emphasizing family planning and women’s autonomy as core conservative principles. But a split in the party and the rise of the religious right changed all that.
In conservative Latin America, public opinion about abortion is changing … but very slowly. In response, anti-abortion groups and politicians have turned to new and often strange legislation to protect what they see as the sanctity of life. That includes a slew of laws involving the adoption or early registration of fetuses as people.
Soviet Russia became the first nation to fully legalize abortion in 1920, or a platform focused not just on equality for women but on allowing women to control their pregnancies in order to be part of the reliable workforce. That led to a ubiquity of abortion before other, less invasive birth control options were on the table — and even after the contraceptive pill revolutionized the Western world, abortion was still far more available to women in the Soviet Union.