• Kristin Perissinotto

Roe v Wade is our business

The leaked draft of a decision to overturn Roe v Wade in the US has been confirmed as authentic. The abortion rights law is set to be overturned by the Supreme Court, which will threaten, if not remove the right for American women to choose.

There is something so sickening about watching the rights of women attacked in a country that is not your home. The landmark ruling was made in 1973 in the US. What was once progressive and ahead-of-its-time legislation has now turned into a regressive decision for a developed nation. Watching from across the Pacific as people just like us are stripped of a basic human right, the right to decide what you want to do with your body, is heartbreaking, it's scary, and it feels like we are entering a Handmaid's Tale kind of dystopia.

It's easy for the most privileged among us to dismiss this news as irrelevant or something that does not concern us here in Australia. Perhaps it's easier that way. But to lack empathy for every person who has been robbed of something this week in a country with similar ideals to ours is unthinkable. It's also naive of us not to consider the likelihood of a similar act here on our home soil. The overturning of Roe v Wade is the direct result of just one term of Donald Trump as president. Just three years of a powerful man being handed even more power he never should have had.

It's widely understood that Trump is and was not a religious man. He probably couldn't give two shits about whether women accessed abortion services or not. And aside from fiscally, an argument could be made that he wasn't necessarily even that conservative, or that he didn't give a shit about politics until the opportunity arose for him to be the most powerful man in the free world. He went where the power was. He wanted to win, he needed to win.

To think we aren't facing similar threats in our country is naive. Scott Morrison, like Trump, seemingly has no genuine values nor interests. He lies to us, he says what he thinks his voter base wants to hear. He talks at length about his religion, but his actions are devoid of the compassion he preaches. He has acted against his own party's so-called values. He's shown us time and time again that his interests and planning only reaches as far as the upcoming election. He has no values nor loyalties except power.

Scott Morrison has already threatened and attacked the safety of LGTBQIA+ children, he has declined to support survivors of domestic violence, he refused to meet women from the March4Justice and instead claimed it a triumph that protestors weren't shot. He showed us he doesn't care about Australians in aged care homes, and he has continuously undermined the experience of First Nations People. He is a threat. He is a threat to our country and any hope of progress.

Another term of Morrison and this Coalition could see us in a similar state as the US is facing now. Scott Morrison is our longest-serving Prime Minister in recent history. He has broken systems, weakened protections and services, and sat on funds that could have helped vitally. He isn't an advocate for women and he's influenced by religious groups. Just like Trump. And while our systems are different to the United States and abortion law falls under state juristiction, we aren't safe. Women aren't safe, LGTBQIA+ youth aren't safe, and people of colour aren't safe. Scott Morrison and his government have caused significant crises in this country over the past term. They have enabled and stood by even more.

Another term of Scott Morrison and his Coalition is regression. While it may not be rights over our own uteruses, it will be something. You can bet on that.