Cwas Monday, May 2. Cynthia Carrasco was bathing her daughters when she received the notification on her phone: the site Politico had just released a draft Supreme Court decision that, if adopted as it stands, would overturn Roe vs. Wade (1973) guaranteeing the right of American women to dispose of their bodies nationwide in the name of right to privacy. “I knew instantly that I had to tell my children about it”dit Cynthia Carrasco au Washington Post. In an article published on May 12, the American newspaper tells how several mothers have broached this subject with their daughters.
The right to abortion in the United States has never been so threatened for nearly fifty years. The 98-page text can be negotiated until June 30. But, if the highest jurisdiction of the country confirmed this draft, it would again be up to each of the fifty States to decide whether or not it protects the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG). However, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, about half of the States could ban abortion purely and simply. According to the Guttmacher Institute, up to 58% of American women of childbearing age – or about 40 million women – live in a state that could deprive them of this right or drastically limit it.
Cynthia Carrasco, a lawyer in Los Angeles, therefore printed the preliminary draft and reviewed it with her eldest, Charlotte, aged 7. Together, they highlighted different passages of the text. “We used a color code” to better understand the potential consequences of such a decision, explains the 43-year-old mother.
With Matilde, only 3 years old, Cynthia Carrasco could not go into so much detail. She tried to explain to him how the Supreme Court and the various government bodies work. “I made him understand that it was going to be a very big fight”summarizes the Californian. “And I use the word ‘combat’ on purpose”she says.
In fact, the resistance of pro-choicers is getting organized. For example, many women have taken to social media to say they are stocking up on morning after pills. Gynecologists have reported an increase in inquiries about long-acting contraceptives – such as IUDs, which last five to ten years. Parent-child discussions are part of this. The news is also an opportunity to have a broader conversation about contraception. Because, in the United States, “one in four women has [subi] an abortion »recalls Amy Lang, an educator specializing in questions about sexuality, interviewed by the Washington Post.
Do not cause shame or fear
Obviously, these discussions can take a very different turn from one family to another. “With us, everyone knows exactly what our mission is”, says Kristan Hawkins, 37, president of the anti-abortion association Students for Life of America. This mother of four children (ages 6, 8, 12 and 13) and her husband travel the country to advocate for the restriction of abortion. Anti-abortion activists also use social networks. A user has published messages received by her daughter after she took a stand against abortion on Instagram. “I am proud of my courageous daughter. She tries “, she wrote in her tweet.
Amy Lang encourages parents on both sides to share their beliefs with their children. However, she encourages them to use neutral language – that is, language that is not likely to make them feel shame or fear.
Le Washington Post points out that, over the past three decades, the birth rate among American teenage girls has declined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it remains significantly higher compared to other western industrialized countries, and disparities persist based on racial and geographic factors.
As a single mother of a teenage girl with developmental disabilities, Kendra Johnson, 42, is in a difficult situation: ” And [ma fille] became pregnant, it is I who should take care of this child”. She says she is particularly alarmed by anti-abortion legislation which does not provide for an exception in the event of rape or incest. Due to her developmental issues, her daughter does not understand, for example, the concept of periods. More general conversations about sexual health are therefore very limited.
Conversely, at Uly Siregar, things are easier. This 48-year-old stay-at-home mom claims to have discussions “very open” with her three daughters (a 15-year-old girl and 13-year-old twins). Above all, she wants her children to be able to come and talk to her without fear in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. Uly Siregar is very worried about the Supreme Court’s draft: she and her family live in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the states that could reverse the right to abortion. To access legal and secure care, the average number of kilometers to travel would increase from 17 to more than 400 kilometres.