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Musicians React to Supreme Court Decision on Right to Abortion

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Megan Thee Stallion, performing at England's Glastonbury Festival on Sat. June 25, 2022. During her set, Megan spoke out against the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade. (Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

When the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Friday, effectively overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that granted the right to abortion, social media predictably exploded.

Musicians were among those who immediately spoke up, and their reactions were overwhelmingly against the court’s decision. Many took to Twitter and Instagram. Others spoke up from the highly visible stages of Glastonbury and the BET Awards, which became pulpits for people demanding respect for individuals’ freedoms.

A few musicians quickly penned songs in response to the rulings, or rewrote Americana chestnuts—including “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Several stars and music industry groups, including Lizzo and Rage Against the Machine, pledged significant profits from upcoming tours to support abortion-rights advocacy groups.

Here is a list of musicians’ reactions and actions:

  • Brandi Carlile added a note of hope to her protest, according to Variety, expressing faith in the majority of American people and encouraging her fans to let their emotions out.
  • Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes tied abortion rights in with police brutality and capitalism, saying: “Anger on top of anger on top of anger. This system has failed us again.”
  • On Twitter, Jason Isbell suggested gerrymandering shaped the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision, adding, “This is not what the people want.”
  • Sadler Vaden, a solo artist who also plays guitar in Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, tweeted in support of bodily autonomy, adding that it was a “sad day for our country.
  • Lukas Nelson quickly penned a heartfelt ballad about the consequences lack of abortion access will have.
  • Country artist and Apple Radio host Rissi Palmer offered a heartfelt and harrowing account of a miscarriage to illustrate the variety of pregnancy experiences affected by the SCOTUS ruling.

  • Hurray For The Riff Raff encouraged fans to share information about abortion access organizations, and linked to the New Orleans Abortion Fund.
  • Maggie Rogers wrote: “abortion is healthcare. bodily autonomy is a human right.”
  • The pop duo Sylvan Esso tweeted that “we are full of rage,” adding that the band would “play this festival tonight and go directly to dc to protest.”
  • Rock songwriter MAITA was succinct about her frustrations, tweeting simply: “abort the supreme court.”
  • Paula Cole declared that the ruling “has officially ratified gender apartheid.”
  • Kathy Valentine, bassist and guitarist from The Go-Go’s posted: “It breaks my heart to think of all the intelligent, creative, innovative minds and careers of women” limited by the ruling.
  • Public Enemy’s always outspoken frontman Chuck D called the decision “F a s c i s m.”
  • While accepting the Best Female R&B/Pop Artist award at the BET Awards, Jazmine Sullivan asked men to stand up for women’s rights. “This is not just a women’s issue,” she said. “This is everybody’s issue.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.



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