Meghan Markle hints at trip to Washington DC in the wake of Roe v Wade reversal

‘It seems as though you and I will be taking a trip to DC together soon,’ Markle told Gloria Steinem in a joint interview for Vogue

Kamala Harris warns Supreme Court will go further after overturning Roe v Wade

Meghan Markle has spoken out against the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, and the importance of channeling anger and fear into action.

The Duchess of Sussex sat down with feminist icon Gloria Steinem in a joint interview for Vogue published on 28 June, where the two discussed political actions people can take to protest the Supreme Court’s ruling – both at the state and national level.

Steinem – who has advocated for the inclusion of the Equal Rights Amendment into the Constitution for more than 50 years – argued that no matter if people live in a pro-choice or anti-abortion state, advocates can still “make clear that reproductive freedom is a fundamental right like freedom of speech.”

Markle agreed how it’s “completely nonsensical” that women are still “fighting to get a constitutional amendment put through” in Congress.

Three years after the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote, feminist activists have proposed an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to fully secure the equal protections of women. In 1972, the ERA was passed by the US Senate and sent to the states for ratification, but increasing conservative backlash against feminism resulted in its failure to receive three-fourths of the states approval. Today, there are still no gender equality protections enrishined in the Constitution.

When asked by journalist Jessica Yellin if formulating a plan to ratify the ERA was an issue Markle could get behind, she answered, “Without question.”

“Being home, seeing what’s happening in our country and feeling energised and motivated, if this is the type of legislation that we need pushed through, then this is a moment that I am absolutely going to show up for,” she added. “Not just because it’s what we need as women, but it’s what we need as people.”

Steinem noted that the proposed amendment has been ratified by the required number of states, and all that’s left is to pressure the White House and Congress to enact the proposal.

Markle replied: “Well, Gloria, maybe it seems as though you and I will be taking a trip to [Washington] DC together soon.”

The joint interview comes just five days after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a Mississippi case, which sought to ban abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy. By ruling in favour of the Mississippi state law, the nation’s highest court struck down a precedent established by the 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, and later affirmed by 1992’s Planned Parenthood v Casey.

Now, millions of American women will be forced to carry pregnancies to term or travel hundreds of miles to states where abortion services are protected. But it’s women of colour – especially Black women – that have been disproportionately targeted by the Supreme Court’s attack on abortion rights. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women in the US are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

“These issues are systemic, interconnected, and preventable,” Markle told Vogue. “Women of colour and especially Black women are most impacted by these decisions because most of us don’t have the same access to healthcare, economic opportunity, mental health resources…the list goes on. It’s difficult to overstate what this decision is going to do to these communities.”

In striking down Roe v Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas argued in his concurrent opinion that the Supreme Court should also reconsider the rulings that currently protect the right to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. Thomas’s statements all but confirmed that the fear many expressed ahead of Roe being overturned was warranted.

Jim Obergefell, who was part of the 2015 landmark ruling, Obergefell v Hodges, that legalised same-sex marriage across the country, toldThe Independent earlier this year that he was concerned other rights -- like same-sex marriage -- would be in jeopardy in a post-Roe world.

“Many of the rights we enjoy, especially the LGBTQ+ community, are based on unenumerated rights under the 14th Amendment — the right to privacy,” he said at the time.

“If the Constitution doesn’t specifically, in writing, outline that right to privacy, then all of those rights that have been affirmed for us that are based on the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment are at risk.”

For her part, Meghan Markle agrees and believes that this is just the “tip of the iceberg”.

“This is a blueprint for reversing rights. The ruling is a signal about the future of same-sex marriage, contraception access, and many fundamental rights to privacy. It feels like the tip of the iceberg and is part of why people feel so scared,” she said.

“We have to channel that fear into action. We can start this November in the midterms. I know hearing that feels so repetitive, but we have to vote, every time, from local elections to state and national elections.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in