Possibility of Roe v. Wade to turn different, if America opted for Feminist Foreign Policy

Feminist foreign policy could have channelized Roe V. Wade towards a progressive turn.

What began in Connecticut was gradually brought to an end by ROE V. WADE by the Supreme court of the United States of America. This made abortion not just a legal precedent but a massive political and human rights wile. 

22nd January 1973 Judgment in the state of Texas, made abortion right not just the legal right to save mothers’ life but to forbid states from outlawing any law on women’s right to abortion(as per varied levels of trimesters). This Judgment outshined to be historic for women’s rights to bodily freedom. In 2018, under the republican regime, following the appointment of conservative Judges Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett gave a new outpour to this issue. Where it was found that abortion is not a part of USA’s history and traditions, it was found to be appalling for any further need to bring any liberal change towards it. Kamala Harris, the First female Vice-President of the United States of America, Called it to be a settled question and not be looked back upon at. Recently, this judgment was overturned by the USA’s Supreme court to outright their earlier stance. This leaves the United States of America without any federal law on abortion and hence, leaving decisions in the hands of individual states to make. Where the majority of states are found to be dwindling less in favor of woman’s right for abortion. Given power in the hands of the state will open more windows for political power-play; hence, something basic and fundamental to women’s freedom will again become the tool of authoritarian governance. This puts another question on the table about why gender biases are justified in the name of history, traditions and culture. Forwarding of an ideal future generation always hampers individual rights over larger community goods. Where this cause is nationally and internationally accepted to be discriminatory.

Image source: AP

Discourses on women are international. This issue has no national border. Military to the protection of gender concerns lies in gender sensitization of the national and international community. On this, many European countries like Sweden, Canada, France and other developing countries like Mexico have adopted Feminist Foreign Policy to extend the scope of gender equality in foreign policy perspective. Sweden became the first country to comprehensively give a framework to women’s rights and bring policy into action. It is a departure from the past, as has been rightly described by Achilleos-Sarl and Aggestam.

This turn towards a distinctly feminist foreign policy signals the potential for a more radical position for states to take in relation to their international agenda-setting.

What is feminist foreign policy and how does it function? This has been a longstanding demand of feminists all around the globe for which Sweden gave it a structure. According to the Swedish foreign ministry’’ Gender equality is an objective in itself, which will make more inclusive and a peaceful world order. Sweden has focused on encouraging 3 R’s: Rights, Representation and Resources as a framework for sustainable, peaceful and equal world order. This will follow these principles in leadership, ownership, guidance and support. Consequences will enable a cultural shift on all fronts of policy actions nationally and internationally. This will empower individuals in policy and action to be gender sensitized at all radars of operation.  Here, all organs of governance will focus upon bridging gender gaps through conventions, treaties and deals made nationally and internationally(inter-state), in order to provide equal opportunity (Politically and economically) and security for safe harbor for all making peace than war, gender equal finances, representation through leadership and empowerment through protecting civil and political rights.

Image source: AP

The act of criminalizing women on abortion is a war on an individual’s right to freedom of choice. The choice should be free; the choice should be less burdensome and must add onto an individual’s growth and well-being. This could have been prevented if all arms of America’s administration had been well sanitized with gender sensitivity because before pursuing a feminist foreign policy there is an unsaid domestic feminist foreign at play.

Laws on women remain under such immense scrutiny that twice in 50 years Roe V. Wade has brought waves of shock to the world around and Texas, in specific. The ruling has been defined as a constitutional earthquake. My Body-My choice has become a hauling cry on the streets of Texas because apparently the choice on their own body has been lifted and dropped in the hands of their respective states. Civil society and feminists have raised concerns and questions on THE AMERICA twirling without universal health care and little or no parental leaves?

What is left behind as a legacy? And what a new world order would look like? It can be rightly described by Hannah Arendt in her book Hannah Arendt – The Origins of Totalitarianism-Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich (1973) ‘’The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists”. Discourse is open and unending. Debates are certain but outcomes lay in uncertainty. Hence, it is for the good of society that the streets remain full with action, where empowerment stands tall to overpower authoritarianism.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Mansi Malhotra

Mansi Malhotra is a Ph.D. Researcher and her focused area of study is Women in International Relations. She has completed her Graduation and post-graduation from University Of Delhi. She had been a Research Intern with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and National Human Rights Commission, Government of India

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