Abortion Ruling Is Part of a Global Reversal of Women’s Rights


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The US Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn the federal right to an abortion will have profound effects on American women. And while prime ministers and presidents of the UK, France, Belgium and New Zealand criticized the ruling as a setback for women’s rights, it’s actually part of what observers call a global retrenchment when it comes to gender equality.

In this week’s episode we explore the economic and societal fallout of the end of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling holding that there is a Constitutional right to abortion, and how it fits with that worldwide trend. First, reporter Katia Dmitrieva shares the story of Jane, a Honduran immigrant living near Dallas who induced an abortion through pills she obtained from a friend through the mail, a practice prohibited in Texas even before last week’s decision. Jane (not her real name) answers phones for a construction company that doesn’t provide paid time off or health benefits. She has neither the time, nor money to care for a child. Reverend Daniel Kanter, senior minister at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, has called efforts to restrict abortion “a war on the poor.”

Next, host Stephanie talks with Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, about how many countries are rolling back protections for women’s rights. Even developed nations with robust laws, including the US and UK, are seeing declining rates of prosecution for rapes, Woods says. Meantime, women politicians are often subjected to a level of personal attacks on social media rarely endured by their male colleagues.

Finally, reporter Claire Jiao shares how some Southeast Asian nations (among others) are trying to make the remote working trend more permanent. While many travelers would love to log into work from the beaches of Bali, they or their companies have feared the potential tax consequences. Jiao finds that Thailand is creating a long-term visa for remote workers that frees them from any tax obligations.

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329 episodes