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. Wade, thereby 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.