On Friday, June 24, the US Supreme Court announced its move to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision in which it was ruled that the Constitution of the United States protected the liberty of women to choose to have an abortion.
The monumental ruling means it is now expected that 26 conservative states will ban - or drastically restrict - access to abortion procedures, effectively revoking the constitutional right to an abortion for millions of women. In some, the ban was actioned immediately through enforced “trigger laws”.
As expected, the decision was met with outrage across the nation (as of May 2022, 85% of Americans believed abortion should be legal under at least some circumstances), with further shock reverberating internationally.
Multiple country stars also spoke out against the news, taking to social media to express their outrage towards the conservative-majority Court, or with messages of compassion, hope and allyship to all affected.
In an op-ed for Rolling Stone, Amanda Shires, who recently recovered from an ectopic pregnancy, shared her own personal experiences.
“When I wrote my first piece for Rolling Stone, I’d had an abortion before. Since writing that op-ed, I have had reproductive healthcare — that some might call an abortion — when I was hospitalized in Texas on August 9, 2021, with a ruptured fallopian tube caused by an ectopic pregnancy. For those who are unfamiliar, it is impossible for an ectopic pregnancy to go to term. I would have died; my daughter, Mercy, would have lost her mother; my husband, Jason, would be a widower.
I was lucky. This happened to me two and a half weeks before Texas’ abortion ban went into effect.”
In 2020, the Grammy Award winner collaborated with her husband Jason Isbell on 'The Problem', a song which depicted the story of a couple going through the abortion process. All proceeds were donated to Yellowhammer Fund, an abortion fund and reproductive justice organisation "dedicated to ensuring that all people can make autonomous decisions about their needs and access necessary resources regardless of race, income, location, age, marriage status, documentation, gender or ability."
Isbell, with whom Shires frequently attends pro-abortion rights rallies in Nashville, also took to Twitter to condemn the ruling.
Brandi Carlile, a fellow member of supergroup the Highwomen with Shires, wrote that “the politics and policies don’t match the people” of America in a statement published across her social channels, encouraging people to “vote as a revolutionary body”.
Ever the vocal advocate, Margo Price tweeted, “I want to reiterate how important it is to KEEP ABORTION SAFE AND LEGAL FOR ALL” and further added that she’ll be releasing “a piece of music I made with a legendary artist/activist in support of this very important issue”.
In March, Price released a Bandcamp-exclusive cover of Lesley Gore’s 1963 song ‘You Don’t Owe Me’. The proceeds were donated to Noise for Now, a 2017-founded initiative that “enables artists and entertainers to connect with and financially support grassroots organizations that work in the field of Reproductive Justice, including abortion access”.
"I began covering Lesley Gore‘s “You Don’t Own Me” during Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Tour in 2021 in response to those who are trying to take away a woman’s right to control what happens to her body. But this idea of self-possession is even more universal. We should all be free to be ourselves, without discrimination, no matter our sex, our race, our religion. We all deserve to live in peace, no matter who we love and marry, no matter which gender we identify with."
She also collaborated with Solstice Intimates on Hands Off, a limited-edition underwear line released in December 2021 to raise money for the initiative.
Fast-rising star Breland was also part of the growing chorus of anger, saying that he believes the “Supreme Court ruling requires both men and women to use their platforms to speak out”, and that he will be "reposting the anonymous experiences of whatever women choose to share them, so their stories can be amplified".
Country megastar Maren Morris supported this notion, retweeting Apple Music Country radio host Nada Taha, who said "The silence from the men in country music — besides a small, select few — about what happened today is heard loud and clear", herself adding, "Guess we’re just here to raise your babies to not grow up to be cowboys."
During a Glastonbury Festival set filled with references to Roe V Wade, Kacey Musgraves proclaimed to the UK audience, “Honestly I’m thinking about never going back to America. It’s a scary time to be an American right now. It’s been great to see you guys speaking up for us too."
Taylor Swift also took to her social channels to address the decision, saying that she is "absolutely terrified", and retweeted a statement shared by former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Undoubtedly, many in the country music community will take action to support and raise funds for everyone affected by the Court's shattering blow to women's rights. At Holler, we'll be sharing all the updates and supporting any events in name of this crucial cause.
For further information, care and resources, visit Planned Parenthood or The United State of Women. Across the US, abortion funds are enabling women to access care by providing financial assistance to those in need. To donate, visit The National Network of Abortion Funds.