the world health organization's european director says it's plausible that the region is moving towards a "kind of pandemic endgame". former british conservative party government minister nusrat ghani says she was sacked from herjob because of her muslim faith. the government chief whip says the claims are false. the taliban meet civil society groups and women's rights activists in norway, in an attempt to access billions of dollars frozen in us banks. now on bbc news, it's time for our world. sophie long travels to mississippi and texas to look at america's new abortion battle. this film contains scenes which some viewers may find upsetting. can't stop! all: ., �* won't stop! all: ~ a , abortion is... all: ., , unstoppable! all: , it is a matter of life and death.
the woman's life is sacred, but it's not more sacred than the baby's. enough is enough! an issue that's divided america for decades. the idea that women can actually make a choice on their own seems to be something that men — particularly older white men — are very afraid of. but now the law that legalised abortion in america could be overturned — and both sides of the divide are preparing for a fight. when you allow a country to take away one of your rights, you give that same country permission to take away all of your rights. i know that motherhood can seem daunting, and we just want them to know that that life could be — that life could live. i'm sophie long, and i've been travelling across america to meet the people at the heart of its new abortion battle. the outcome will shape the lives of millions. abortion is... all: ., , unstoppable! all: ,
mississippi was the birthplace of the blues. and it's now the origin of the case before the supreme court that could overturn the ruling that gave women the right to choose, nearly half a century ago. why do you want abortion to stop injackson? because it's murder. murdering children wrong according to the god of the bible. we need to obey god. he's bringing judgment against this land we are killing children in this land. and it needs to stop and this country needs to repent. this is the only abortion clinic in the whole state of mississippi.
the difficult and deeply personal decision that women who come here have made isjudged very publicly. this is the front line in a bitter battle that's gone on for decades. rainbow—clad escorts come to protect patients trying to access what remains their constitutional right from protesters and increasing efforts to intimidate them. i believe in a right to protest, i absolutely do. hold your sign, but when you're yelling at patients, that's not protesting. ma'am, you don't need to go through with this. you're yelling at patients about murdering babies — which is not occurring — and that also creates an environment for — for people who come up here — at any other clinic, too — and it is terroristic. it's stochastic terrorism. they shouldn't kill babies. all: amen. they shouldn't be murdering children. on the surface, it might seem
like a battle between the religious right and the liberal left. jennifer, you ain't going to church? no. no church forjennifer. but the division is deeper, more complex, and the battle here and across the united states has intensified over the last few months. good evening. and a landmark ruling in the supreme court today legalised abortion. in 1973, the supreme court ruled women had the right to terminate a pregnancy until viability — around 2a weeks. but now the court has a clear conservative majority after president trump appointed three justices, and they may reverse the ruling. mississippi wants to ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks, without exception
for rape or incest. pro—choice campaigners say that will threaten the lives of people in the poorest, largely black and brown, communities. but the supreme court could now rule in the state's favour. since january 22, 1973, there's — abortion access in this country has not gone uncontested. at all. so it's always been a fight. some days have been harder than others. situations can change. 47 years ago, we went from abortion being illegal to being legal. now, 47 years later, we're going to go — we may go from abortion being illegal to becoming illegal. ok, let's go. dr willie parker travels thousands of miles across the united states every week, providing reproductive care in clinics where he still can. i can feel that your uterus right here feels like a hard ball. your uterus squeezes — that's how your body controls bleeding.
so your uterus is a big muscle and it squeezes like this. there have been efforts to intimidate me — death threats, racial slurs — "psycho—terrorism", as i call it — efforts to harm me mentally, physical threats... whatever�*s been done to me physically has dulled in comparison to the sense of purpose and satisfaction that i get when i arrive at the clinic and that i'm there for women who had to go through even more than i had to get through. he's not alone. we spoke to other clinic staff across america who feel threatened for doing theirjobs. so, you said there you had your picture mailed. what did it say? it was a flyer that had my picture that requested prayers — "this woman works at an abortion clinic and — where she's participating in the murder of children" — and so it's not a direct threat, but obviously a negative thing to send to my neighbours. and you've got children as well? yes.
how does that make you feel? do you find that intimidating? definitely it's intimidating. it made us worry for the children. it made us worry for the exposure in our neighbourhood and, you know, what — we know that there's violence against providers. we see it. it's happened. it's always a concern in the back of our mind. who wants to go with omar? in an affluent suburb ofjackson, mississippi, students spend their saturday spreading the anti—abortion message. i know that motherhood can seem daunting, and we just want them to know that that life could live, and they have an opportunity, and it doesn't have to end in abortion — it can end in adoption, or even having the child and getting support and getting out of a bad relationship. it's a horrible thing, that a fact of life is that girls do get raped, and sometimes find themselves
in that position through absolutely no fault of their own. do you think there should be — people like that should have a choice? that's a hard question, and it's a terrible thing, and i sympathise — i was in a similar situation where i was, and i was actually scared that i was pregnant. i actually was in that same situation. i'm very sorry. but i thought — i was scared — but ijust — i was thinking "you know what, even if i am, it is just amazing that there is a — possibly a baby inside of me." on the mississippi plains, kids grow up fast — certainly, that was the case for kimberly. she and her husband have three happy, healthy children now,
but when she first became pregnant, she wasjust i9, and still at college. i was very scared, sad, because i knew at that moment that — that everything that i had been taught growing up, i had basicallyjust shunned, and had taken for granted. that hurts, mummy! the father, herformer boyfriend, was not happy. he was very adamant that he really wanted me to have an abortion, and i told them i was not going to do that. 0k. kimberly gave up her first child for adoption in alabama. on the way home back to mississippi, i just sat in silence, and had tears running down my eyes. it was very difficult. but i still had the conviction, knowing that that was the right thing to do. i think what, on the pro—life side, that we can do, is just make other options more readily available
and help them see, like my story, that it's not the end of your life — that you can carry a baby to term. i went on to college, i went on to get married and had three children. that it — it's not an end. it is a sanctifying moment to make me, and others that i know that have chosen adoption, and chosen life, strong. yeah. there've been challenges to the ruling known as roe v wade before, but now the supreme court has a clear conservative majority, the anti—abortion lobby feel victory could be in reach. you would have high hopes for what this could mean, but you also know that we've been disappointed in so many cases before where we thought, like, this, they could over roe,
they could — and we have had such tiny, tiny incremental earnings of lives saved through laws. the fact is, even with roe v wade still intact, in some states it's already so difficult to access reproductive care that some women are having to travel thousands of miles, across several states to seek help. dr willie parker has arrived in seattle, which is in what's known as a "haven state" — one of 15 states where the right to an abortion will be protected, even if roe v wade is overturned. women in the south are denied the basic things that they would be entitled to, so that provided the care punitive, right? if you're going to have an abortion — if we can't stop you from having
an abortion, we're going to make sure it's a — it's a traumatic event for you. his concern is for women who won't be able to get to states like washington. we will have otherwise healthy women who have the complications associated with pregnancy — whether you're talking about preeclampsia, whether you're talking about other conditions that could be exacerbated by pregnancy, and they will die because they were pregnant, and those conditions were exacerbated. we will see more of that because women will be forced to remain pregnant when they could've ended a pregnancy that they didn't want or a pregnancy that they were too sick to continue. we will see a rise in maternal mortality. 19—year—old jessica — not her real name — has travelled across half the country to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. she's come from texas, where a law known as senate bill 8 banned abortion afterjust six weeks. so, i was assaulted by a boy
i was seeing at the time. my period was supposed to come the next week so i figured i would wait that out and see what happens and i did get it so i thought everything was fine. i thought i was in the clear. butjessica's body continued to change. by the time she realised she was pregnant, she was way beyond six weeks. i was really scared, and i didn't know what to do because i had to hide it from everybody i knew including my mum, my co—workers who i work with for like 11 hours every single day, and it wasn't that hard because i didn't have much of a tummy either, which is what's really confusing, but the nausea, the pains, because two weeks ago when i started getting the cramps again,
cramps, i'm pretty sure they're worse than that, butjust having to hide everything. i was scared because i didn't want anybody to know and i couldn't show anything and ijust was going through a lot of pain most of the time and i couldn't say anything. back in the texas state captial, austin, 13 plaintiffs have come to court to challenge the constitutionality of the lanessica fled. it's a terrifying feeling to not feel in control of our own body and our future. when you allow a country to take away one of your rights, you give that same country permission to take away all of your rights. but the governor of texas is holding firm. he is proud of his state's new law. our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children
lose their right to life every year because of abortion. in texas, we want to save those lives. texas hasn't only banned abortion after a foetal heartbeat can be detected but the law empowers people to sue anyone seen to help someone end a pregnancy after that time. counsellors and physicians say it effectively criminalises care and shows that roe v wade has never been enough. since this bill has gone into effect, sice the law has gone into effect, i have not been able to provide abortion care in texas at all and i have increased travelling to oklahoma to be able to take care of texans that are travelling there to get abortion care. so that's basically what you have to do now. in order to take care of people in texas who need to seek that kind of care, you need to leave the state in order to give it to them? exactly, and last week or the week
before, the last time i was there, over 80% of the people i took care of were from texas, three of which from my own neighbourhood in dallas. this law makes pregnancy in texas exceedingly more dangerous, and that is for anyone who becomes pregnant, whether or not they want an abortion or need an abortion or whether they want to continue the pregnancy. anyone who has become pregnant in our state is now in extreme danger because physicians and hospital systems cannot offer them life—saving care when they might need it. they are not allowed to intervene until the pregnant person has become septic or is haemorrhaging. one of the people challenging the texas law is reverend denine robinson. both she and her partner sarah became pregnant at an early age. their opposite experiences have brought them to the same side of the divide. sarah did not have a choice. as a result, she says she was forced
to abort her dreams and choose between giving her daughter food or shelter. she has blocked out her entire childhood in sub—pieces because of the hardships that we have had. the intense moments of homelessness, to live in a house with no furniture, to sleep on blankets on the floor, to have no food and not eat as a mum for days on end and feed your daughter noodles as dinner, no—one wants to look at their child and believe that that is what they deserved and that was the ideal in mind when they heard the heartbeat and touched the fingers and had the child. my daughter is the best thing i've ever done but i feel like i could have given her something better. it is so good for me to be back with you all again. i believe we need to have things
that are part of our community, things that are in our everyday lives that remind us of the people that we are. denine was able to choose and passionately believes her daughter should have the same right. i consider this a form of modern day slavery. you are creating a subclass of people because you are forcing them to have children, stop whatever their future plans are and orient their lives to taking quote unquote essential workerjobs, which are jobs that don't pay much, and having to parent. so basically they are encouraging or forcing people to have children that then they don't help them support. no, so prove it. if you are really pro—life, prove it. at this point i can say nothing but you are pro birth. you want people to have babies and then you have done yourjob, you've helped the lord. i'm not really seeing that.
back in seattle, jessica's procedure has just finished. how are you feeling? this is all a part of your healing. what happened to you is something that happened to you. it doesn't define you and you know, you will never forget that you were pregnant, you will never forget the circumstances but you can put it behind you, because like you said, your life is now yours again. i believe that when we turn abortion into a moral issue, when people are controlling women's fertility and pregnant people's fertility under the guise
that they are trying to protect their health, what they are really doing is they are really controlling that person's basic human rights and dignity, and that is a form of human rights abuse. because the laws are so extreme in texas, women and pregnant people are turned into reproductive refugees. the right of american women to choose in future is now being decided here, at the supreme court in washington, dc. it has already heard arguments for and against the mississippi law. early indicators suggest they might uphold it. if you think that the issue is one of choice, that women should have a choice to terminate their pregnancy, why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? that could have huge implications for individuals. the one liberaljustice warned of the damage it could do. will this institution survive the stench that this creates
in the public perception that the constitution and its reading are just political acts? we have high hopes for this high court. we want to see roe v wade overturned and we believe that this is the case that could do it. abortion in america is outdated and out of touch. our science and our data are behind the times. we need to see history changed in this court in this session. thank you for coming. there are 50 states in this union and hundreds of laws but ultimately it will come down to whatjust nine people think in this one building that could set a precedent for years to come. if the challenge to roe v wade is successful, there are more than 20 republican—led states that are likely to instantly impose sweeping bands to abortion
sweeping bans to abortion which would affect the reproductive rights of millions of people. obviously i do not want people to go seeking a back alley abortion. i think we as a country and churches could do more to come alongside those women, to help them choose life. no—one wins. no—one is winning, but children, poor people, black people, are definitely losing. let's look at how we can help women survive their pregnancies, right, and surviving the pregnancy means the mother and the baby both survive the pregnancy. what happens if roe passes, or what happens if roe fails, i'm gonna show up everyday. and if there is a woman who makes the effort to show up here i'm going to try to be here for her. the supreme court is expected to rule on mississippi's challenge to roe v wade in the summer.
northern ireland. as we move into the final week of the month, some areas stay very dry, this chart shows rainfall accumulation we expect over the next five days. some rain across north—western areas, but towards the south—east, barely any rain, if any. high towards the south—east, barely any rain, ifany. high pressure towards the south—east, barely any rain, if any. high pressure still fairly close by on monday, but a system up to the north of the uk, very weak, but it will bring some outbreaks of patchy rain across northern scotland. elsewhere, another largely dry day, some sunshine across north wales, the midlands and northern england, southern scotland, northern ireland. maybe some brighter skies in the south—east by the end of the day. feeling quite chilly, the midlands 4-5, feeling quite chilly, the midlands 4—5, a little milderfurther north. monday night, we keep a lot of
cloud, the patchy north rain will fizzle away, the frontal system dying by tuesday, because high pressure building back in and taking charge. tuesday, back to square one with lots of dry weather and large amounts of cloud, some fork patches first thing. some sunshine, equally a bit of patchy rain in the far north—west of scotland, temperatures 4-9 north—west of scotland, temperatures 4—9 degrees. tuesday night and wednesday, another frontal system starting to approach from the west. this is likely to have a bit more life, it does promise some fairly significant rainfall, but only for some of us, particularly towards the north—west, some heavy rain, and as that comes south and east, it will weaken. another dry day, some sunshine, a lot of cloud, but a more mild feel at this stage, temperatures 8—ii. mild feel at this stage, temperatures 8—11. the weather system continues southwards and will
come weak, very little rain in the south, although the front might hang back across the south—west corner for a while on thursday, bringing some cloud and some drizzle. elsewhere, a better chance of sunshine on thursday, some showers in northern scotland, some could be wintry, with temperatures 7—11. thursday night and friday, the area of high pressure tries to re—establish itself, anotherfrontal re—establish itself, another frontal system re—establish itself, anotherfrontal system approaching from the north—west. a westerly flow of winds across the uk, feeding in a lot of cloud from the west. some outbreaks of rain in northern and western scotland, but it will feel relatively mild, highs of 8—12 across the far south—west. next weekend and into the first part of the following week, the high pressure at least for a time will retreat, allowing frontal systems to make some inroads across the uk. the height is neverfar away make some inroads across the uk. the height is never far away from southern areas, so while we can
tonight at ten, two senior figures in the cabinet are calling for a full investigation into claims by a former minister that she'd been the victim of islamophobia. nus ghani says she was told she was being sacked in part because of her muslim faith. if there is ever any complaint like this, particularly one as serious as this, a formal complaint should be made and it would then be investigated. ms ghani says borisjohnson told her he "couldn't get involved," and that she should complain to the tory party. also tonight... the foreign office says it has information that russia is plotting to install a puppet government in ukraine.