Joint Statement: Urgency for bold support to fundamental human rights and bodily autonomy of all women, girls, and people of diverse gender identities: A call to all men and boys to step up to support the fundamental human rights to bodily autonomy, dignity, and freedom for all women, girls, and individuals of diverse gender identities
We, MenEngage Global Alliance and North American MenEngage Network (NAMEN) are deeply concerned about the prospect that rights already recognized, protected, and exercised by women, girls, trans and nonbinary people, in all their diversities and intersectionalities, in the United States of America might soon be revoked and denied to them. A draft opinion by the United States Supreme Court has come to light unexpectedly but is acknowledged by the Court as legitimate. If adopted, a potentially majority of the population of the country will no longer have the right to bodily autonomy and sovereignty – to make their own decisions over their own bodies and lives. It is appalling that the highest court in the country is even considering that women, girls, trans and nonbinary people may be stripped of their rights to liberty, dignity and freedom.
We express our support and solidarity to all who have expressed their outrage and continue to hope that the Supreme Court draft opinion will not move forward in its intention to do away with Roe vs. Wade, which for almost 50 years has protected a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. We further express our support for the decision reached by Roe vs. Wade in 1973, which put an end to unsafe abortions and saved many lives since then.
We further express our solidarity with all involved in the call for universal access to affordable, safe, and legal abortion. With ‘trigger laws’ in place in many States and with other significant undue burdens that already exist, revoking Roe vs. Wade would impact the lives of all people in the US and abroad, and as is often the case, disproportionately burden Black, Latin, Indigenous, and women of color, youth, LGBTIQ individuals, women of lower-income and in informal labor, further marginalizing and directly harming them.
We raise our voices today in supporting women’s right to safe and legal abortion. Together we reaffirm our position on supporting fundamental rights to bodily autonomy and reproductive rights for women and people who need it, and work to challenge laws and policies restricting the right and access to safe abortion and post-abortion care for everyone who needs them.
We call on all men and boys, especially men in positions of power and influence across institutions, to join us in the protection of access to safe and legal abortions. The right to privacy and the right to determine whether and when to carry a pregnancy to term and whether and when to become a parent are fundamental parts of women’s and trans and nonbinary people’s autonomy, and impact the lives and well-being of those around them. We know that for many men and boys – legal denial of the rights of women and girls and of those of diverse gender identities is appalling. Therefore, we urge them to express their outrage and to stand up for sexual and reproductive rights.
Each and every one of us can make autonomous decisions about our own bodies and lives, including decisions about pregnancy and abortion. We must challenge the norms, systems, and policies that create barriers to safe abortion and bodily autonomy. We believe that no impediment should come between a pregnant person and their choice of whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. Yet, many women and girls and trans and nonbinary people are currently not able to access the safe and legal abortion and the care they need globally. This decision will dramatically and dangerously impede these rights for much of the country. We recognize the disproportionate impact that will continue to fall on women of color, black, indigenous, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and nonbinary individuals, and youth communities living at these intersections and who are on the margins of the margins.
Men and boys must stand up and add their voices
At MenEngage Global Alliance and North American MenEngage Network (NAMEN),
- We believe that sexual and reproductive health and rights are not only women’s and trans and nonbinary people’s issues. They are issues for everyone and impact all of us.
- We commit to the critical task of centering and elevating the agency, voices, analysis, and demands of girls and women of color, black, indigenous, lesbian, gay, transgender, youth, and non-binary individuals who are at the margins of the margin to access to safe, affordable, legal abortion, and care.
- We call on men and boys to add their voices and take actions to protect access to safe and legal abortion and to speak up when they see violations of the human rights of women, girls, and people of diverse gender identities taking place, including their right to reproductive healthcare.
- We commit to supporting women’s and trans and nonbinary people’s fundamental human rights to bodily autonomy and reproductive rights and work on challenging laws and policies restricting the right and access to safe abortion and post-abortion care for everyone who needs them.
- We call upon all men and boys, in all diversities, to work as meaningful allies in ending this long-overdue existing control of women’s and trans and nonbinary people’s sexuality and reproduction.
- We commit to stand in solidarity and follow the leadership of feminist and SRHR leaders, especially Black and Indigenous, people of color and living at the intersections, in this joint national and global struggle.
- We commit to continue to stand up and against any policy that limits anyone, anywhere, to make autonomous decisions about our own bodies and lives including decisions about pregnancy and abortion.
We are appalled by this recent news and we hold ourselves accountable for taking part in the change we wish to see in the world.