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Cambridge campaigners to defend abortion rights in solidarity with US protesters



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Campaigners are set to gather outside the Guildhall in the market square on Saturday as they defend the right to abortion, in solidarity with protests taking place across the US on the same day.

Pro-abortion campaigners Jill Eastland, left, and Jo Rust
Pro-abortion campaigners Jill Eastland, left, and Jo Rust

The action is taking place in response to a leaked document from the US Supreme Court indicating it will overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling which enshrined the constitutional right for women to have a termination.

According to the majority opinion of the judges, Roe v Wade “was egregiously wrong from the start” and “enflamed debate and deepened division.”

If the decision becomes final it could come into effect as early as next month with 13 US states having so-called “trigger laws” designed to immediately go into effect should Roe fall.

The news has been met with anger from women’s organisations in the US and across the world amid fears that repealing the 1973 judgement will erode women’s rights elsewhere.

Just nine unelected judges have taken a decision that will affect million, campaigners argue, highlighting polls that show some 72 per cent of people in the US support the right to an abortion.

Protest organiser organiser Alice Midori is on the left
Protest organiser organiser Alice Midori is on the left

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s protest, organiser Alice Midori said: “The leaked US Supreme Court draft that would overturn Roe v Wade will undermine reproductive rights and bodily autonomy in the US, as well as embolden anti-abortion legislators elsewhere in the world. Women in Poland already face regressive legal mechanisms to assert control of their reproductive choices.

“We have to stand in solidarity with those affected there, as well as to show anyone in the UK that any attempt to restrict bodily autonomy will be met with resistance.”

One of the campaigners attending the protest on Saturday is Jill Eastland, who sees the campaign as part of a wider issue of oppression.

Jill said: “This is an international struggle linked to increasing global poverty and inequality and what is happening in the US could spread to other countries, including the UK.

Women face authoritarian laws controlling their bodies in the US – and Poland
Women face authoritarian laws controlling their bodies in the US – and Poland

“In the UK we are seeing a very steep rise in the cost of living and growing inequality which always coincides with increasing oppression and the erosion of rights.

“We are seeing a massive restriction in our rights in this country now including the right to protest, the human rights of refugees and our right to a free National Heath Service.

“My personal experience is one of experiencing sexual violence from a young child to an adult woman, of men having control over my body rather than me having the right to choose what happens to it.”

“This demonstration helps me to feel empowered to support younger women in gaining bodily autonomy.”

The demonstration will start at 1pm. It is supported by Cambridge and District Trades Council.



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