25 JUNE 2022 /
HUGE BLOW TO WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS /
In the US, the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Vade, a landmark decision of 1973 Judgement that recognised women’s right to have abortion and now the court set aside the abortion rights available to women in the US for over two generations.
“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” the judgemenent says.
“Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court which overturns the 50-year-old Roe v Wade judgement guaranteeing access to abortion across the United States, was described by the UN Human Rights Chief as a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality,” Reports UN News on 24 June 2022.
The Supreme Court decision was made in the specific case of Dobbs V Jackson Women’s Health.
“It represents a major set back for sexual and reproductive health across the U.S. The historic decision returns all questions of legality and access to abortion, to the individual states,” Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reacted in a statement.
“UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that a staggering 45 per cent of all abortions around the world are unsafe, making the procedure a leading cause of maternal death. It is inevitable that more women will die, as restrictions by national or regional governments increase,” reports UN News.
“Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives, free of discrimination, violence and coercion.
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, to the detriment of their fundamental rights. With today’s ruling, the US is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend”, UN warned.
The UN Women, the global ‘champion for gender equality’ and women’s human rights, also cautioned that ‘ the ability of women to control what happens to their own bodies, is also associated with the roles women are able to play in society, whether as a member of the family, the workforce or government’.
The statement issued by the The Women, the UN agency on 24 June 2022 as follows.
“Reproductive rights are integral to women’s rights, a fact that is upheld by international agreements and reflected in law in different parts of the world.
To be able to exercise their human rights and make essential decisions, women need to be able to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to information, education and services.
When safe and legal access to abortion is restricted, women are forced to resort to less-safe methods, too often with damaging or disastrous results especially for women who are affected by poverty or marginalization, including minority women”.
The 1994 UN Programme of Action of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) recognised the deadly unsafe abortions and urged all member countries to provide post-abortion care to save lives, irrespective of the legal status of abortion. The Sustainable Development Goal 3, relating to the maternal health to which all UN member states committed will be at risk, if the unsafe abortions continue, the UN News reports.
In US, President Joe Biden criticised the court for ending the right to abortion and putting women’s lives at risk.
“It’s a sad day for the court and for the country. The ruling takes the country back 150 years,” said Joe Biden, US President
It’s a setback for Democrats and other progressive sections fighting for women’s rights and will deepen the conflict in US politics.