Youth Activism Today Is Anything but Performative

Youth Activism Today Is Anything but Performative
Maya Iribarren participates in an abortion-rights protest at City Hall in San Francisco following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, June 24, 2022 (AP photo by Josie Lepe).

Editor’s note: This will be Aishwarya Machani’s final weekly column for World Politics Review. We’d like to thank her for her forward-thinking coverage of the issues that affect young people around the world. We wish her the best of luck and are excited to continue working with her as a regular contributor. 

On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States officially reversed its ruling on the 1973 case Roe v. Wadethereby eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. It will now be up to individual U.S. states to decide whether abortion should be decriminalized in their jurisdictions.

Reactions to this decision have been visceral, both online and in the streets. People of all ages—and especially members of “Generation Z,” as those born after 1995 are known—have turned to social media to express their outrage at the bleak situation now facing people who can get pregnant in the United States. Many have amplified social media posts by prominent figures like former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, articulating extreme disappointment at the news. Others have shared alarming statistics about the dangers of criminalizing abortion, which, as research has shown, does not necessarily reduce the number of abortions that take place, but rather forces pregnant people to resort to illegal abortions, which are far more dangerous. And others have used humor as a crutch to cope with their disappointment at the ruling, sarcastically commending the United States for traveling back in time to an era when women’s rights were not enshrined in law.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.