In the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning in the U.S., Meghan Markle and Gloria Steinem had a candid conversation for British Vogue about what happens next and how they are dedicated to taking action to reverse it.
Meghan spoke about her own pregnancies (with son Archie and daughter Lilibet) and miscarriage, along with her husband Prince Harry’s shared devastation over the court decision. “I think about how fortunate I felt to be able to have both of my children,” she said when asked what she thinks of when it comes to discussing women’s health and abortion. “I know what it feels like to have a connection to what is growing inside of your body. What happens with our bodies is so deeply personal, which can also lead to silence and stigma, even though so many of us deal with personal health crises. I know what miscarrying feels like, which I’ve talked about publicly. The more that we normalize conversation about the things that affect our lives and bodies, the more people are going to understand how necessary it is to have protections in place.”
“This is about women’s physical safety,” she continued. “It’s also about economic justice, individual autonomy, and who we are as a society. Nobody should be forced to make a decision they do not want to make, or is unsafe, or puts their own life in jeopardy. Frankly, whether it’s a woman being put in an unthinkable situation, a woman not ready to start a family, or even a couple who deserve to plan their family in a way that makes the most sense for them, it’s about having a choice.”
Meghan added that men should speak up in this moment too, touching on her husband’s response. “Men need to be vocal in this moment and beyond because these are decisions that affect relationships, families, and communities at large,” she said. “They may target women, but the consequences impact all of us. My husband and I talked about that a lot over the past few days. He’s a feminist too.”
“And his reaction last week was guttural, like mine,” she continued. “I know that for so many women right now, there is a sentiment of despair. But again, we have to band together and not wallow. We have to do the work.”
She hinted that she and Steinem were willing to take their activism to D.C., especially as they continue to push for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
“Without question [I want to help make the ERA’s passage happen],” Meghan said. “Being home, seeing what’s happening in our country and feeling energized and motivated, if this is the type of legislation that we need pushed through, then this is a moment that I am absolutely going to show up for. Not just because it’s what we need as women, but it’s what we need as people.”
“The ERA has been ratified by the requisite number of states and we should put the pressure on the White House and Congress to enact it,” Steinem added.
“Well, Gloria, maybe it seems as though you and I will be taking a trip to [Washington] D.C. together soon,” Meghan quipped. You can read their full conversation here.
For more on what you can do to help women following Roe’s overturning, see ELLE’s guide here.