This month, the Supreme Court of the United States voted six to three in favour of overturning Roe v. Wade – a decision which reversed the 1973 ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right.
As a result, almost half of the U.S. states are expected to outlaw or restrict abortions, with bans already coming into effect.
Now, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex along with feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem have spoken out in light of the decision.
In an interview with Jesica Yellin for Vogue, the Duchess of Sussex spoke about the “very real impact” the decision is having on women’s lives and bodies.
“Women are already sharing stories of how their physical safety is being put in danger,” Meghan said. “Women with resources will travel to get an abortion, those without might attempt to give themselves one at tremendous risk.”
She added that this tells women that their “physical safety doesn’t matter”.
Meghan also emphasised the systemic issues that means women of colour, and especially Black women, are most impacted by the decision due to unequal access to health care, economic opportunity, mental health resources, and more.
When asked about the importance of normalising conversations around women’s health, Meghan drew on her own experience of childbirth and miscarriage.
“I think about how fortunate I felt to be able to have both of my children. I know what it feels like to have a connection to what is growing inside of your body. What happens with our bodies is so deeply personal, which can also lead to silence and stigma, even though so many of us deal with personal health crises.
“I know what miscarrying feels like, which I’ve talked about publicly. The more that we normalise conversation about the things that affect our lives and bodies, the more people are going to understand how necessary it is to have protections in place.”
The Duchess of Sussex made a point not to exclude men from the conversation, saying they needed to be “vocal” in times like these.
She specifically mentioned her husband Prince Harry’s reaction to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, saying that the couple have spoken about it a lot in the past few days.
“He’s a feminist too,” she said. “And his reaction last week was guttural, like mine.”
For the past few months, Meghan and Gloria have been working towards getting the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ratified to extend to women the Constitutional rights that are granted to men.
This would change the game for women’s reproductive rights, workplace rights and more.
WATCH: Meghan Markle discusses feminism and gender equality