Meghan Markle plans to team up with Gloria Steinem to fight for civil rights

Meghan Markle plans to team up with Gloria Steinem to fight for civil rights
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Wikimedia Commons).

In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade and subsequent attack on women's rights, Meghan Markle, the Dutchess of Sussex, has announced her plan to team up with feminism and social-political activist, Gloria Steinum to fight for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

Speaking to VOGUE magazine, award-winning journalist Jessica Yellin explained how ratifying the amendment would ultimately be a game-changer.

"The ERA would change the playing field for women’s reproductive rights, women’s workplace rights, and so much more," Yellin said. "For decades Steinem has been advocating for its enactment, and now Meghan is joining in.”

Read more: A pregnant Ohio woman’s cancer diagnosis underscores the horrors of life after Roe

When the U.S. Supreme Court announced its ruling, Yellin decided to hold a conversation with the two advocates.

“I entered this conversation feeling disoriented by the new reality—anxious that there is no clear path forward. Opponents of abortion built so much infrastructure over so many years. How can that be answered quickly, and how many lives will be destroyed in the meantime?” Yellin said. “For now, some women will be denied basic life-saving medical care because of a power struggle in a dysfunctional political system. But after this conversation, I was reminded that change starts with simple actions—and deadly setbacks sometimes precede transformational change.”

Speaking to the news outlet, Markle noted that women residing in states with trigger laws are already feeling the effects of post-Roe America. She also expressed concern about what the future will look like for many women. "This is having a very real impact on women’s bodies and lives starting now. Women are already sharing stories of how their physical safety is being put in danger. Women with resources will travel to get an abortion, those without might attempt to give themselves one at tremendous risk," she said.

Markle added, "Some will have to source abortion pills from unregulated pharmacies. Others who are pregnant and find themselves in a medical emergency will be at the mercy of doctors and lawyers to determine if a procedure that is needed to save her life can even be done at all. What does this tell women? It tells us that our physical safety doesn’t matter, and as a result that we don’t matter. But we do. Women matter. And this is one of the reasons that I called Gloria immediately. Because in all of it, she reminds me that when you have anger, you have to channel that energy into something that makes a difference. That’s what activism is. It’s about how we show up."

So, how can women move forward at such a difficult time? According to Markle, unifying is the first step.

"This moment requires unity—really listening to people, understanding the Constitution was written at a time when women were second-class citizens. We’re not. Certain things need to change," Markle said. "I think it’s equally about honoring the people who’ve been doing the work long before us, like Gloria. I’m grateful that I’m holding a baton right there next to her and that we will continue to be doing this work together."

Markle also noted why it's important to view the situation from a perspective of hope instead of through a lens of negativity.

"I always look at things with the undercurrent of hope. If you are someone who truly believes that there can be something better, if you’re someone who sees injustice, you have a choice: You can sit there and be complacent and watch it, or you can say, “What can I do to get us to the other side of this?” That’s another reason why I called Gloria, because I knew what I was looking for. What do we do? How do we do it? How do we support each other? How do we get the necessary changes across the line? What we need, in this moment, is to start with hope.

Steinum also chimed in saying, "I think we need to remember that hope is a form of planning. [Laughs.] If you’re not hopeful, you’ve given up."

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