On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, deciding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right in the country to an abortion. International reaction from female pop stars has been swift, fierce, occasionally melodic and often expletive-laced.
“Wanna hear a secret, girls?” New Zealand’s Lorde asked on stage Sunday at England’s five-day Glastonbury Festival, referencing her song Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen It All). “Your bodies were destined to be controlled and objectified since before you were born. That horror is your birthright.”
The Royals singer ended her monologue with a four-letter word directed at the Supreme Court, whose 5-4 vote controversially rescinded the landmark 1973 decision on reproductive rights.
The 25-year-old Lorde was among many artists at Glastonbury over the weekend who called out the Supreme Court. American pop phenom Olivia Rodrigo brought out British singer Lily Allen for a specific condemnation.
“This song is for the justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh,” Rodrigo announced, referring to the five concurring robe-wearers. “We hate you. We hate you.” Rodrigo and Allen then performed the latter’s 2014 song which has a title that contains the same profanity said by Lorde.
Other artists who used their Glastonbury platform to express dissatisfaction with the court decision included Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, Kendrick Lamar and Billie Eilish, who dedicated her song Your Power to those affected by the ruling.
Elsewhere, female musicians issued new material in protest of the Roe v. Wade reversal. Cyndi Lauper has rerecorded her 1993 abortion rights song Sally’s Pigeons, co-written with Mary Chapin Carpenter. The release of the new acoustic version was accompanied by a series of tweets.
“ … If we don’t have control over our own bodies then we have no real freedom,” Lauper tweeted. “We are second class citizens. We need to mobilize. We need to let our voices be heard.”
Lauper is well known for her 1983 anthem Girls Just Want to Have Fun, in which she sang “Oh momma dear, we’re not the fortunate ones.”
Feminist folk-rock icon Ani DiFranco has collaborated with Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard on the new rocker Disorders, with proceeds to benefit the National Network of Abortion Funds. “I have entered into negotiations, with the blissful abyss of disassociation,” DiFranco sings. “And all that it implies, watching you weaponize your ejaculations.”
Previous pro-choice songs from DiFranco include Amendment, Lost Woman Song and Hello Birmingham, written in response to the 1998 bombing of an abortion clinic in Alabama. Gossard and Pearl Jam recorded the abortion-related songs Act of Love and Song X – both written by Neil Young – for Young’s Mirror Ball album in 1995.
Pearl Jam also took to Twitter on Friday.
“No one, not the government, not politicians, not the Supreme Court should prevent access to abortion, birth control and contraceptives,” the band tweeted. “People should have the freedom to choose.”
Pop superstar Taylor Swift also used her voice on social media, retweeting a widely-shared statement made by former First Lady Michelle Obama, while adding her own concerns: “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.”