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Anti-government protest in Beirut on Sept. 20
Anti-government protest in Beirut on Sept. 20
Francesca Paci

BEIRUT — An Italian diplomat once said that "the darkest corners of a crisis can be the most illuminating in understanding geopolitical dynamics." This is where Lebanon finds itself: One of the few Middle Eastern countries that is not at war, yet one suffering in the trenches nonetheless.

These days Lebanon is far from the glare of the international media, except for minor coverage of the "You Stink" protests against the waste collection crisis in Beirut. But it does find itself squarely in the sights of foreign experts, who see Lebanon's ever fragile sectarian equilibrium as the key to understanding the future of the region.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade: Will It Spark Anti-Abortion Momentum Around The World?

Pro-life activists celebrated the end of the U.S. right to abortion, hoping it will trigger a new debate on a topic that in some places had largely been settled: in favor a woman’s right to choose. But it could also boomerang.

Thousands of people demonstrate against abortion in Madrid

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Shaun Lavelle

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a constitutional right to abortion put the United States at the forefront of abortion rights in the world.

Other countries would follow suit in the succeeding years, with France legalizing abortion in 1975, Italy in 1978, and Ireland finally joining most of the rest of Europe with a landslide 2018 referendum victory for women’s right to choose. Elsewhere, parts of Asia and Africa have made incremental steps toward legalizing abortion, while a growing number of Latin American countries have joined what has now been a decades-long worldwide shift toward more access to abortion rights.

But now, 49 years later, with last Friday’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade, will the U.S. once again prove to be ahead of the curve? Will American cultural and political influence carry across borders on the abortion issue, reversing the momentum of recent years?

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