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US backsliding on women's rights underscores systemic flaws

Date : 2022-07-11 14:45:50

People attend a rally calling for abortion rights in Washington, DC, July 9, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

WASHINGTON - The United States continued to feel the heat from the Supreme Court's bombshell decision to overturn Roe v. Wade two weeks ago, which ended the constitutional protection of abortion rights for women in the nation.

Thousands of demonstrators came to Washington, D.C., on Saturday to demand more action from the White House to safeguard abortion access, with the fight over abortion rights splitting America further along ideological and party lines.

A self-portrayed "human rights champion," the United States' human rights record remains appalling. With women's rights suffering a severe blow this time, America's hypocrisy on human rights and its systemic flaws have been laid bare again.


Attendees of the Women's March under the theme "Summer of Rage" turned out in Franklin Square northeast of the White House in the morning despite a light rain. Most showed up with posters or banners that advocate abortion rights and wore a green bandana bearing the slogan "bans off our bodies."

"Today we're telling @POTUS and ALL our elected leaders that we won't let politicians play games with our lives and our futures," Women's March tweeted, tagging US President Joe Biden. "We DEMAND our fundamental rights."

"I am attending this rally because I think it is important that we women have a voice and a choice with our bodies," Esther Torres, a demonstrator from Austin, Texas, told Xinhua. "It's a basic human right. Women decide what we do with our bodies."

The protesters marched to the White House at noon, chanting pro-choice slogans such as "my body my choice" on the streets before joining a sit-in outside the presidential residence and tying the bandanas on the north fence.

"We are marching. We are going to make some noise and get our point across that we are humans, and we have a human right," Torres said.

On June 24, the US Supreme Court released the ruling to strike down Roe v. Wade, nearly five decades after setting a precedent in 1973 that women have a constitutional right to abortion -- arguably one of the most divisive issues across the nation due to a clash between religious beliefs and individual liberty.

"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start," Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative, wrote in the majority opinion. "Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences." The court's three liberal justices dissented, lamenting that "many millions of American women" have lost a fundamental constitutional protection.

The ruling has divided America further. Democrats and liberals have rushed to decry the high court's move as they generally support abortion rights and argue that abortion is a woman's choice. Republicans and conservatives who have long accused the procedure of taking an unborn life have taken a victory lap.

A small group of anti-abortion activists gathered at a street corner across Franklin Square, holding banners expressing their position, with one man using a megaphone to speak. The two sides of protesters shouted at each other in tense exchanges in the presence of law enforcement personnel and vehicles.

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