Following the Supreme Court’s historic U-turn on abortion, American women tell AFP about their strategy to stay in control of their bodies in a world where abortion rights are no longer guaranteed.
• Also read: The European Parliament calls for abortion to be included in the fundamental rights of the EU
• Also read: Clinic closure at center of Supreme Court reversal
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Health problems have left Sarah Kratz, 39, infertile. But this Texan worries about her two daughters and transgender son, ages 20, 19, and 15. “You have the right to decide, ‘I want this child,’ or ‘I don’t want a child,'” she said.
His southern state, which has very conservative policies, has been banning abortions from the sixth week of pregnancy for months and is trying to ban the procedure entirely on its soil. Sarah Kratzer fears that elected officials will then attack the “morning-after pill”, which is hated by the most radical opponents of abortion.
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s draft ruling leaked in early May, it began stocking this over-the-counter emergency contraceptive, which is sold in pharmacies but also self-service in many convenience stores.
These pills, which can be used up to 3 days after unprotected intercourse to avoid conception, expire after three or four years, and Sarah Kratzer hopes that abortion rights will be restored by then.
Otherwise, “I’ll go to other countries to buy some and find a way to bring them back,” says the woman, who has also bought ovulation tests and pregnancy tests for her children, two of whom are already on birth control.
Like her, many Americans have rushed to the morning-after pill in recent weeks, so pharmacy chain CVS has limited purchases to avoid shortages.
Kayla Pickett, a 22-year-old nursing student, lives with her boyfriend in Akron, Ohio, a conservative northern state that already has severe abortion rights restrictions. The couple plan to move to Colorado next year, which has more progressive laws, and emigrate as soon as they can afford it.
“We’re both African American and we want to live in a state where we have rights,” explains the young woman, who had an IUD implanted at a planning center while waiting to leave Ohio.
She has been on the pill since she was 15 and last week opted for this longer-lasting contraceptive – from 5 to 10 years – for fear the Supreme Court would also overturn the right to contraception, as one of its judges suggested.
“I want to be prepared for anything,” says Kayla Pickett.
When Meagan McKernan, 33, learned of the Supreme Court’s reversal, she felt fear and anger, but also “relief” at having anticipated the decision.
She works for an online auction house, doesn’t want to have children and started the process of having her hoses tied off in the spring. His preoperative consultation is scheduled for July 9th.
In May, when she mistakenly believed she was pregnant, she had felt “terror”: “I needed a permanent solution to never feel that again,” she said, admitting to having “the privilege” of having such an operation being able to offer can cost the patient up to $6,000.
Meagan McKernan is also fortunate to live in Connecticut, north of New York, where women’s rights appear to be protected. Nevertheless, she prefers to be cautious: “I don’t want to lose any of my rights to choose what is best for me.”
Following the same logic, the American press reported that since the verdict of April 24