Meghan Markle, Gloria Steinem, & Jessica Yellin Talk Abortion, Miscarriages, and the Equal Rights Amendment
A conversation between Meghan Markle, Gloria Steinem, and journalist Jessica Yellin about the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade was published today in Vogue. In it, the women discuss what this legislation means for reproductive rights and people who can become pregnant.
Steinem, in the article, shares a story she’s told before: “I was in London, not this country, when I needed an abortion and was lucky to find a physician in the equivalent of the Yellow Pages, who said that if I promised him two things—one, that I would never tell anyone his name and two, that I would do what I wish to do with my life—he would send me to a woman doctor who would do the abortion.”
It was with that ability to have an abortion that Steinem went on to her fellowship in India and launched a long career of activism, including her decades-long battle to get the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified.
“It would explicitly extend to women the rights granted in the Constitution to men,” Yellin explains to Vogue. “The ERA would change the playing field for women’s reproductive rights, women’s workplace rights, and so much more. For decades Steinem has been advocating for its enactment, and now Meghan is joining in.”
Meghan Markle has long been in activism, but her role as the first non-white British Royal family member has elevated her ability to help bring attention (and money) to causes.
“These issues are systemic, interconnected, and preventable,” Markle explains when asked about how this decision impacts Black women, who have the highest maternal mortality rates in the U.S. “Women of color and especially Black women are most impacted by these decisions because most of us don’t have the same access to health care, economic opportunity, mental health resources…the list goes on. It’s difficult to overstate what this decision is going to do to these communities.”
And that healthcare access extends to dealing with something like a miscarriage. Markle was open about having one after the birth of her first child and before the birth of her second, in the interest of destigmatizing that experience.
Ultimately, getting the ERA ratified and working to secure abortion rights is about the right of choice and humanity. “This is about women’s physical safety. It’s also about economic justice, individual autonomy, and who we are as a society,” Markle says. “Nobody should be forced to make a decision they do not want to make, or is unsafe, or puts their own life in jeopardy. Frankly, whether it’s a woman being put in an unthinkable situation, a woman not ready to start a family, or even a couple who deserve to plan their family in a way that makes the most sense for them, it’s about having a choice.”
Steinem and Markle have been working, along with many other activists, to get the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified, and if the Biden administration wants to do something right, they can make sure that is done in our lifetime. It should have happened decades ago, and now it’s time to get it done.
(via Yahoo, featured image: Dominic Lipinski – Pool/Getty Images)
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