Digital Editor Cara-Louise Scott discusses how important it is for celebrities, especially women, to speak out about Roe vs. Wade
There are some powerful women in the music industry who, more often than not, use their voices to speak about important issues through their music, knowing that people from around the world will hear it. But not only are they powerful through their music, some of these artists choose to speak up outside their lyrical voices and platform their views to wider audiences. This is due to the fact that people won’t only hear them, but they might just listen too.
A few months ago, the famous Glastonbury festival took place in the UK. At the same time, over in the US, protests were taking place against the Supreme Court’s ruling that Americans will no longer have a ‘constitutional right’ to abortion.
The Supreme Court’s ruling overturned Roe v. Wade, which was a case that refers to abortion being made legal across the US after a legal ruling in 1973. In great controversy, a ‘majority of the justices held that the right to end a pregnancy was not found in the text of the Constitution nor the nation’s history.’
Using their voices, Olivia Rodrigo, Lily Allen, Billie Eilish and Megan Thee Stallion, to name a few, spoke up about this shocking step back in abortion rights.
When Olivia Rodrigo, who is only 19, took to the stage in front of thousands of people, she claimed she was ‘devastated and terrified…so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this.’ Rodrigo and Lily Allen then did a performance together of Allen’s ‘You’. The single was a reaction to the political adversaries in the US and UK when it debuted.
As a young influential woman, Rodrigo made a statement to thousands of people, showing that she wasn’t afraid to speak up about what she believed in. We live in a world where more young women are speaking up about their beliefs and becoming activists in many ways. We need women, like Rodrigo, to keep speaking up because the more they do, the more people will begin to understand ways in which they can join the protest against many pressing problems in the world, such as abortion rights.
Many people online have argued that these singers are jeopardising their careers with the political move of speaking out on stage, but I disagree. If anything, these young women are creating more respect for themselves, showing they are not fearful of their beliefs and being voices to those who cannot be heard. Celebrities are often in the limelight and it would be a shame if they couldn’t speak up. Especially as so many people are more likely to listen to those they look up to rather than any Government or the people who are speaking up but aren’t in the limelight.
Megan Thee Stallion also spoke up about the Texas abortion ban in 2021, where the singer grew up. This law allows private citizens to sue any individual who assists a woman in an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, even in horrific cases of rape and incest. This included partners who support the abortion process or friends who post about it asking for tips online. It even included Uber drivers who take women to abortion clinics. Stallion called out ‘these stupid men’ and led a chant of ‘my body, my (expletive) choice.’ Through this, she asserted a voice of power and a belief that things need to be better.
Alongside these women, Billie Eilish dedicated her song ‘Your Power’ to the judges who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. Eilish said that the song is ‘about the concept of power and how we need to always remember how not to abuse it…and today is a really, really dark day for women in the U.S… I cannot bear to think about it any longer in this moment.’
Lorde also gave a speech at the end of her performance of ‘Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)’: ‘You wanna know a secret girls? Your bodies were destined to be controlled and objectified since before you were born. That horror is your birth right.’ But she argued that we ‘possess ancient strength, ancient wisdom…your birth right…make access that wisdom your life’s work, because everything depends on that’, before she cursed out SCOTUS, the judges who overturned Roe v. Wade.
These artists were among more than 150 celebrities and influences who signed the petition recently to show that they do not support the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
More discussions on abortion rights need to take place. Hopefully through these celebrities calling out recent events in the US, it will be the start of more people lifting their voices and continuing to protest to ask for a better future. To ask for a right that all women should have access to – abortion.
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