Former actress Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry in 2018, came out this week in support of abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
In an interview with Vogue published Tuesday, Markle said that she and Harry had a “guttural” reaction to the news that abortion in the United States was no longer a “constitutional” right guaranteed by Roe. She told feminist Gloria Steinem, and CNN’s Jessica Yellin, who conducted the interview, why women need abortion to prosper.
“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,” Markle told the magazine. She added that she and Gloria Steinem, who conducted the interview, would be taking a trip to Washington, D.C. together soon. Markle noted that she called Steinem “immediately” following the news about Roe and is channeling her anger into activism.
“This [abortion] is about women’s physical safety. 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,” Markle said in the interview. “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. It’s interesting that here you’re talking to two women: one who chose to give birth happily, and one who chose not to give birth happily. And we’re both prospering because we were able to make our own choices. Incredible.”
At the beginning of the interview, Steinem had discussed her pre-Roe abortion she got while overseas. Markle said that Steinem’s story “gave [her] chills” because “you were in the hands of someone who understood that it was your choice to create the life that you wanted for yourself.” Markle added that her husband, Prince Harry, who left the royal family with her in 2020, is a “feminist” who supports abortion rights.
“Men need to be vocal in this moment and beyond because these are decisions that affect relationships, families, and communities at large. 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,” she said.
In 2021, these two were recognized as environmental “role models” for promising to have a maximum of two children to lessen their impact on the environment. The United Kingdom-based charity Population Matters issued the couple the award. In an interview with Vogue in 2019, the couple said that “we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation.”
Now, Markle and Steinem are “formulating a plan” to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified. Yellin added that “the ERA would change the playing for women’s reproductive rights, women’s workplace rights, and so much more.”
As a general rule of thumb, members of the British Royal Family stay out of politics. However, since leaving her royal duties behind, Markle has spoken out on a number of issues.
Markle reportedly voted in the 2020 presidential election and appeared in a video for a voter registration drive co-chaired by former first lady Michelle Obama to urge Americans to register and vote. On another occasion, she personally phoned two female GOP senators to press them about paid family leave, which Townhall covered.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, from West Virginia, told Politico that the unexpected phone call came through while she was driving.
“I’m in my car. I’m driving. It says caller ID blocked. Honestly … I thought it was Sen. Manchin. His calls come in blocked. And she goes 'Sen. Capito?' I said, 'Yes.' She said, 'This is Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex,” Capito told Politico. “I couldn’t figure out how she got my number.”
Sen. Susan Collins, from Maine, also shared her experience with Politico. She noted that she cares more about what her constituents say about the issue than Markle, who introduced herself as the “duchess of Sussex” despite walking away from her royal duties.
“I was happy to talk with her. But I’m more interested in what the people of Maine are telling me about it,” Collins said to Politico reporter Marianna Levine. “[M]uch to my surprise, she called me on my private line and she introduced herself as the duchess of Sussex, which is kind of ironic.”
In December, Markle and Prince Harry made the issue of paid family leave the theme of their “happy holidays” card.