The European Secularist Network strongly denounces the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the federal right to abortion. As soon as this outrageous decision was announced, several states took measures to ban abortion completely or to severely restrict it.
This decision is a serious attack on women’s right to control their own bodies and on the principle of non-discrimination against them. This is an unprecedented step backwards, despite the fact that the right to abortion has been recognised in international law and has been adopted in several countries in recent years (Ireland, Argentina, etc.).
In addition to abortion, the Supreme Court is threatening other rights recognised by the US Constitution, including access to contraception and same-sex marriage, and even “anti-sodomy laws” could be re-introduced or re-enforced by individual states.
For many years, the secularist movement has been warning about the serious threats to fundamental rights caused by the rise of religious conservatism and fundamentalism. The US Supreme Court decision is the result of a systematic strategy of infiltration of judicial institutions by militant Christian fundamentalist organisations, aided by authoritarian politicians.
This phenomenon is not limited to the United States. These organisations are well established in Europe. They have already achieved results here, using similar methods. In Poland, access to abortion has been drastically reduced by the Constitutional Court, which is dominated by judges irregularly appointed by the national-conservative government, under pressure from fundamentalist organisations and the Catholic hierarchy.
Fundamentalists impose their backward ideology on society by bypassing democratically elected authorities, because they know that citizens are overwhelmingly opposed to it.
Faced with these threats, it is urgent to mobilise so that the right to abortion is effectively guaranteed in the European Union. This right stems from its founding principles, such as equality between men and women.