‘Huge blow to women’s right’ — UN condemns US supreme court abortion ruling
The United Nations (UN) has condemned the ruling of the United States supreme court that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the country.
On Friday, in a 6-3 decision, the court had overturned Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion in the US.
Courtesy of the reversal of the law, US states will now be allowed to determine their own abortion laws as they deem fit.
More than 20 states are expected to outlaw or restrict abortion following the ruling.
In a statement of Saturday, Michelle Bachelet, UN’s high commissioner for human rights, described the court’s judgment as a huge blow to women’s rights.
“Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human rights law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives,” the UN said.
“This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular, those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities.
“More than 50 countries with restrictive laws have relaxed their abortion laws in the past 25 years.
“With today’s ruling, the US is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend.”
President Joe Biden had described the judgement as a tragic error.
UN human rights experts have also denounced the supreme court ruling and urged Biden to take all necessary measures to mitigate its consequences.
In a joint statement, the experts branded the judgement “a monumental setback for the rule of law and for gender equality,” describing the ruling as shocking and dangerous.
They said the move would create “a nightmare scenario for those dealing with the uncertainty and trauma of an unplanned pregnancy” by increasing the number of women and girls seeking clandestine and unsafe abortions, while fueling abortion stigma.
The statement was backed by eight special rapporteurs and the UN working group on discrimination against women and girls.
UN experts do not speak for the global body but report their findings to it.