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On the front page of the American and European press, this Wednesday, May 4, the reactions, in the United States and in Europe, to the project, still under discussion, of the American Supreme Court to bury the Roe v Wade judgment which had, in 1973 granted the right to abortion at the federal level.
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On the front page of the press, “the agreement in principle” concluded between rebellious France and the Socialist Party with a view to the legislative elections in June. After the ecologists and the Communist Party, the party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon seems to have won its bet, by also managing to agree with the Socialists. Humanity, which had gone to press before this announcement made on Wednesday May 4, already mentioned last night a “historic” agreement, if it were to materialize. An agreement presented as “the fruit of the requirement of the people of the left, who (would have) powerfully expressed in favor of (this) union”. “Without this friendly pressure, without this massive aspiration, the alliance would probably not have seen the light of day”, greets The Humanrelieved to see “the left come back so quickly in the ring after its brutal elimination from the race for the Élysée”.
On the front page, also, the reactions to the project, still under discussion, of the American Supreme Court to crush the judgment which had granted the right to abortion, in 1973.
“The decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade is not a conservative choice, it’s a radical choice”: indignation and focus of the New York Times. “To be conservative is to think that sudden and profound changes in laws are totally destructive of respect for those laws and of the institutions established to enforce them”, but reversing the 1973 decision would amount to “lighting an additional cultural fire in a country already inflamed by racial issues, school programs, criminal justice, electoral laws, or even the various conspiracy theories”, warns the newspaper.
“Supreme Court may never recover from Roe vs. Wade overturn”: The Washington Post also evokes a “radical” project and “additional proof of the political drift of the Supreme Court”. “Cancelling Roe vs. Wade would restrict liberty and be a repugnant repudiation of the American tradition that liberty extends to an ever-widening circle of individuals.” (…) By betraying this heritage and siding with (a) minority of Americans hostile (to the decision of 73), the judges are behaving not as impartial jurists but as reckless ideologues, dangerously out of touch and hostile to what is at the heart of American ethics”.
The Washington Post underlines the political consequences of a possible questioning of the 1973 judgment. According to the newspaper, such a decision risks “upsetting the mid-term elections” next November and polarizing even more the campaign, with a “massive mobilization”, of both Democrats and Republicans, around the issues of abortion, individual rights and everything that opposes their “contrasting” philosophies. In the wake of Joe Biden, who called on his compatriots to defend the right to abortion at the polls, cartoonist Pat Byrnes accuses the Supreme Court of not wanting to stop there. “It’s not a final decision. There are other rights that we want to cancel,” he told a judge. A concern shared by Adam Zyglis, who shows the statue of liberty and women’s rights boat taking on water, threatening to sink.
Bob Englehart, he is indignant to see the judges threaten the right of women to freely dispose of their bodies, with a drawing showing a uterus which has become “property of the Supreme Court of the United States”.
The American conservative press accuses the Democrats of seeking to exploit the question of abortion. The Wall Street Journal considers that the leaks on the discussions within the American Supreme Court constitute “an unprecedented breach of trust”, an act of “maliciousness” in the face of which the judges should not be “intimidated”. “As always, the question is who benefits from the crime”: the daily points the finger at “the left and the media” Americans, whose “apocalyptic reaction” would aim to “discredit” the Supreme Court, almost totally acquired in the conservative camp. “Overthrowing Roe would not be the end of abortion in America but would simply refer the matter to the States”, which will be “free to restrict, prohibit or facilitate the right to abortion”, tempers the newspaper.
The Washington Times is also trying to minimize the scope of a possible challenge to the 73 ruling, by assuring that the number of abortions in the United States is anyway at a “historically low” level. The paper quotes conservative radio host Erick Erickson as commenting: “You’re more likely to know a married gay couple than you know someone who’s had an abortion.”
The reactions are also numerous in the European press. “Going back on Roe vs. Wade would be a disaster for human rights”: The Guardian evokes the dark outcome of a crusade led by fanatics against the will of the majority. A threat to the health, happiness and lives of women”, favored by “the legal legacy of Donald Trump”.
In Germany, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung denounces “a cultural fight carried out on the backs of women”, predicting that a reconsideration of the decision of 73 will lead the States governed by the Republicans “to embark on a race to who will be the fastest and most ruthless to ban abortion”.
In France, Release quotes Simone Veil, who carried the law framing the decriminalization of abortion, adopted in France in 1974, a year after the Roe vs. Wade. “Never forget that all it takes is a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be called into question. These rights are never acquired. You will have to remain vigilant throughout your life”, declared to the minister at the time, using the words of the feminist Simone de Beauvoir. Release calls for defending the right to abortion in the United States and everywhere else, including in Europe, where Ukrainian women victims of rape are currently prevented from having access to abortion in Poland. “The ‘self-proclaimed pro-lifers’ will never leave women alone. But we will never let them go back quietly”, promises the newspaper.
A word, finally, general elections, Monday, May 9, in the Philippines, where Ferdinand Marcos Jr is widely favored in the presidential election. The local daily The Manila Times announces the “inevitable victory” of the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos against the current vice-president Leni Robredo. According to the British newspaper The Financial Times, which speaks of “the most important election in the Philippines since a popular uprising toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in 1986”, “the ousted dictator is not on the ballots but his legacy lives on in -through his son, who comes forward with the promise of restoring the ‘golden age’ of his father’s reign”. A story that he would have managed to impose himself among the new generation of Filipinos who did not know the Marcos era, whose son is also supported by outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been especially active in the during his tenure, to “muzzle dissent, suppress rights and ignite a war on drugs that has killed thousands”.
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