Meghan Markle Calls Prince Harry a Feminist, Expresses Fear for Women's Safety Over Roe v. Wade Being Struck Down

The duchess spoke to Gloria Steinem about it.

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and feminist powerhouse Gloria Steinem have joined forces over the past few months to help ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would "explicitly extend to women the rights granted in the Constitution to men," according to journalist Jessica Yellin.

One such right which has been abruptly stripped is the right to bodily autonomy, more specifically the right to a safe abortion, following the striking down of Roe v. Wade last week. This Supreme Court decision has shaken women and people with wombs across the country, who may find themselves in dangerous—and potentially lethal—situations when seeking out an abortion for whatever reason.

Meghan Markle joined Steinem and Yellin for a conversation about the decision's aftermath, published in Vogue, and expressed her disapproval in no uncertain terms.

"Women are already sharing stories of how their physical safety is being put in danger," the duchess said.

"Women with resources will travel to get an abortion, those without might attempt to give themselves one at tremendous risk. 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."

Markle spoke in her capacity as a women's right advocate as well as in her capacity as a mother. She described understanding how important it is for a person to decide whether or not they want to be a parent in that moment, and how much of a deeply personal choice that is.

"I think about how fortunate I felt to be able to have both of my children," she said.

"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."

The duchess also talked about the role that men need to play in advancing equal access to healthcare, and how much this matters to Prince Harry.

"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."

She added, "And his reaction last week was guttural, like mine. 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."

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.