USA: If confirmed, Supreme Court decision could endanger abortion rights around the world

In response to reports that the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn abortion rights in the United States, Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“Overturning Roe vs. Wade would not only be the outcome of decades of hateful campaign against women’s rights; it would also be deeply racist and classist. Women of color and poor women would be disproportionately affected by any decision to end safe and legal abortion. If it overturns Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court would be demonstrating complete disregard for extensive evidence of the life-threatening implications of the criminalization of abortion and the consequential number of deaths resulting from recourse to unsafe abortion. Such a decision would thus constitute a violation of the right to life and the prohibition of torture.

“While moves to decriminalize and legalize abortion in places like Argentina, Ireland, Mexico and Colombia in the last few years have been a huge win for the global community, there are grim signs that the United States is out of step with the progress that the rest of the world is making in protecting sexual and reproductive rights. We fervently call on the US authorities to protect the right to legal and safe abortion. Anything less would be a gross failure to uphold human rights, including the rights to life, health, bodily autonomy, privacy and dignity.

Any regression in protection of the right to abortion would not only stand to damage the global perception of the United States; it would also set a terrible example that other governments and anti-rights groups could seize upon around the world in a bid to deny the rights of women, girls and other people who can become pregnant. Overturning Roe vs. Wade would become the symbol of a major backlash all over the world, putting recent progress at risk and endangering the health and lives of millions.”

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