On 24 June 2022, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade in a landmark ruling that removed the constitutional right to abortion.
The repeal means the US joins just three other countries - Poland, Nicaragua and El Salvador - that have removed legal grounds for abortion since 1994. In contrast, 61 other countries have liberalized abortion laws - some of which came in direct response to the repeal of Roe v Wade.
While we grapple with providing safe abortion care in these uncertain times, we are reminded that countries like the US, which have historically set the global abortion agenda, are no longer the right or the only leaders.
In Africa, we find ourselves at a critical juncture. Amidst these challenges, there have been significant triumphs that inspire hope for a future where reproductive justice is upheld. For example, one month after the US ruling last year, Sierra Leone approved a draft law to decriminalize abortion, in a monumental step towards the repeal of its colonial-era laws. Benin has also enacted one of the most progressive abortion laws in Africa, demonstrating the potential for change even in the face of adversity. In Kenya, the High Court ruled that safe abortion is a fundamental right, and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution for seeking or offering such services are completely illegal.