AAmerican women have fewer rights than they did a year ago. Question: Can 100 people solve the problem of five?
In June, the US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion. The ruling sparked state bans that took effect, and today abortion is illegal in dozens of states and restricted or unavailable in dozens more.
Abortion is not just an American issue. Ambassador of the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (On No. 82 Forbes The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women) said in June that Rodin’s repeal had made the United States “an outlier” among the world’s developed nations. The World Health Organization declared in March that access to abortion is “fundamental” to achieving several key sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.
Because as the Minister of Finance Janet Yellen (No. 33) said during a Senate hearing in May, “Roe v. Wade and access to reproductive health, including abortion, helped increase labor force participation.” Reproductive freedom allows women to finish school, plan a career and save money to raise a family, she says. Losing Rodin, Yellen said, “would have a very damaging effect on the economy and set women back decades.” Vice President Kamala Harris (No. 3) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (No. 25), expressed strong support for women’s reproductive rights and advocated legislation to protect them.
Women are not a monolith when it comes to their views on access to abortion, and neither are members of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World 2022. Some have remained silent on the issue, while others, like Italy’s far-right prime minister, have Georgia Meloney (No. 7) only promised not to interfere in the protection of abortion in their country. (Even so, Italians covered the streets of Rome and Milan with “my body, my choice” signs after Meloni’s victory in September.)
Many on the list are using their voices and platforms to advocate for abortion care, and are doing so more prominently than ever before. Reproductive health advocates and corporate social responsibility experts agree that even without Roy, the power of these leaders’ continued presence cannot be underestimated. Jen Stark, co-director of the BSR Center, says that if the world’s most influential people and companies had been “talking as much about abortion as they have been in May for the last decade, we wouldn’t be where we are today.” Business and Social Justice.
“You have to assess where you have influence and power and use it,” says Nancy Northup, legal and advocacy group president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The more everyone speaks up and does what they can, the more it will change.”
Here’s how some of the world’s 100 most powerful women are taking action to protect access to reproductive health in 2022:
Mackenzie Scott, #11, gave $275 million to Planned Parenthood in May, the largest gift from a single donor in the organization’s history.
Corporate leaders have begun using concessions for employees who must travel to access abortion services. led by Citigroup Jane Fraser (No. 10), was ahead of its corporate peers. In its 2022 proxy statement, filed before the Supreme Court’s draft decision was made public in early May, the bank promised to provide travel concessions “to facilitate access to adequate resources.” At the end of June, Accenture, led by the CEO Julie Sweet (No. 9) Joined the ranks of companies offering similar benefits, and of Abigail Johnson (No. 5) Devotion was saying the same thing.
This year, Xiomara Castro (No. 94) became the first female president of Honduras after campaigning to expand access to abortion in her country. However, he has faced opposition to this initiative and, as of this writing, has yet to succeed.
Abortion is legal in New Zealand Jacinda Ardern (No. 40) is prime minister, and in March the Kiwi parliament voted to protect abortion clinics and their surrounding areas from intimidation or obstruction. In June, Ardern called the US Supreme Court decision “a loss for women everywhere”.
TV manager Shonda Rhimes (No. 93) already exists Grey’s Anatomy take a direct approach to reproductive health. Over the years, his fictional doctors performed abortions, prescribed abortion pills and complained about state laws that restricted treatment for patients. The show’s October 2022 episode took a more educational approach: in one of the episode’s storylines, two Grey’s Doctors openly guide a teenager with an unwanted pregnancy through the process of taking mifepristone and misoprostol, two abortifacient pills.