On Tuesday, Vogue published a fascinating piece: a conversation between Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Gloria Steinem. They were being questioned by journalist Jessica Yellin two days after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision came down, which overturned Roe v. Wade. I wondered if Meghan would make any kind of public statement, and here it is. Steinem and Meghan are old friends – they met before the 2020 election and cold-called voters. Gloria and Meghan talked about reproductive rights, ratifying the ERA and more – you can read the full piece here (which I would recommend). Meghan also gave Vogue a photo too (see above) – Meghan looks like Doria! Here are some of Meghan’s quotes:
Meghan on trigger laws in a post-Roe world: “This is having a very real impact on women’s bodies and lives starting now. Women are already sharing stories of how their physical safety is being put in danger. Women with resources will travel to get an abortion, those without might attempt to give themselves one at tremendous risk. Some will have to source abortion pills from unregulated pharmacies. Others who are pregnant and find themselves in a medical emergency will be at the mercy of doctors and lawyers to determine if a procedure that is needed to save her life can even be done at all. What does this tell women? It tells us that our physical safety doesn’t matter, and as a result that we don’t matter. But we do. Women matter.”
The Dobbs ruling will disportionately impact Black women: “These issues are systemic, interconnected, and preventable. Women of color and especially Black women are most impacted by these decisions because most of us don’t have the same access to health care, economic opportunity, mental health resources…the list goes on. It’s difficult to overstate what this decision is going to do to these communities.
How marriage equality will also be on the chopping block for this court: “Absolutely. We saw it in plain terms with Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion. This is a blueprint for reversing rights. The ruling is a signal about the future of same-sex marriage, contraception access, and many fundamental rights to privacy. It feels like the tip of the iceberg and is part of why people feel so scared. We have to channel that fear into action. We can start this November in the midterms. I know hearing that feels so repetitive, but we have to vote, every time, from local elections to state and national elections.
On ratifying the ERA: “Being home, seeing what’s happening in our country and feeling energized and motivated, if this is the type of legislation that we need pushed through, then this is a moment that I am absolutely going to show up for. Not just because it’s what we need as women, but it’s what we need as people.
Normalizing conversations about abortion, pregnancy & childbirth: “I think about how fortunate I felt to be able to have both of my children. I know what it feels like to have a connection to what is growing inside of your body. What happens with our bodies is so deeply personal, which can also lead to silence and stigma, even though so many of us deal with personal health crises. I know what miscarrying feels like, which I’ve talked about publicly. The more that we normalize conversation about the things that affect our lives and bodies, the more people are going to understand how necessary it is to have protections in place.
Men’s place in the reproductive rights movement: “Men need to be vocal in this moment and beyond because these are decisions that affect relationships, families, and communities at large. They may target women, but the consequences impact all of us. My husband and I talked about that a lot over the past few days. He’s a feminist too… And his reaction last week was guttural, like mine. I know that for so many women right now, there is a sentiment of despair. But again, we have to band together and not wallow. We have to do the work.
What this moment requires: “This moment requires unity—really listening to people, understanding the Constitution was written at a time when women were second-class citizens. We’re not. Certain things need to change. I think it’s equally about honoring the people who’ve been doing the work long before us, like Gloria. I’m grateful that I’m holding a baton right there next to her and that we will continue to be doing this work together. I always look at things with the undercurrent of hope. If you are someone who truly believes that there can be something better, if you’re someone who sees injustice, you have a choice: You can sit there and be complacent and watch it, or you can say, “What can I do to get us to the other side of this?”
Harry’s reaction was “guttural”! That’s good. I wonder what it’s like for Harry, because ever since he moved to America with Meghan, it’s been wall-to-wall insanity in this f–king country. In many ways, he gets to live a life he only dreamed of, with privacy and his family safe and few media intrusions… but on the other side, we have insurrections and mass shootings and one of the most significant setbacks for women in more than a century. It’s insane. As for what Meghan says… she’s an optimist and I think that’s great. I’m not at the point where I’m like “okay, what’s next, let’s get organized, let’s keep working.” I’ve spent days feeling helpless and broken. Meghan would never.
Photos courtesy of Instar, Vogue/Archewell.