Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade Is an Assault on Human Rights, Will Increase Maternal Mortality and Inspire Anti-Abortion Forces Worldwide
For Immediate Release
Vice President of Communications and External Relations
In reaction to the Supreme Court opinion reversing federal protections for abortion, Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, president and CEO of PAI, an international sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy organization, issued the following statement:
“The Supreme Court has made the unconscionable decision to reverse the U.S. constitutional right to abortion. This decision undermines the agency and autonomy of pregnant people. It is expected to result in an increase of maternal and infant mortality and illness, and boost the United States’ position as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth — especially for Black, Brown and Indigenous people who experience the greatest barriers to quality health care access.
“Overturning Roe v. Wade will not reduce the number of people seeking abortions; instead, it will result in more people being harmed or dying in the process of getting unsafe abortions or forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
“We are facing a fundamental attack on the civil rights of all Americans — the right to privacy, the right to health care, the right to choose. This decision will disproportionately harm Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in the United States and cause havoc for low-income Americans and people in rural areas who already struggle with obtaining abortion care. It will also put access to contraception and protections for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community on the chopping block as freedoms are rolled back due to this Supreme Court majority.
“The signal this decision sends around the world can’t be ignored. The United States’ commitment to gender equality and human rights around the world rings hollow when these same commitments are not upheld in our own nation, especially when approximately 70% of Americans support abortion rights. A minority is making harmful decisions that disregard what the American majority wants. What’s more, U.S. decisions and actions influence and inspire communities around the world. The overturning of Roe v. Wade could add fuel to efforts in other countries where sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to safe and legal abortion, are threatened.
“The United States is backsliding as the overwhelming international trajectory is toward expanding abortion access and post-abortion care. From Mexico’s Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, to groundbreaking policy and legal decisions in support of abortion access in Chile, Colombia, Ireland and more, the global trend is to expand sexual and reproductive health and rights — including abortion — and recognize that abortion is health care and access to it is a fundamental human right.
“Our country’s failure to protect fundamental human rights at a time of global expansion of abortion care and access is deeply concerning. Since the 1990s, over 60 countries have liberalized laws for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and many have moved toward the decriminalization of abortion. These rights make families, communities and economies stronger. Only Poland, El Salvador and Nicaragua have enacted more restrictive laws since then. Now, heartbreakingly, the United States has joined them.
“This decision will bolster the anti-abortion movement around the world, derail progress toward universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights and violate the agency, autonomy and aspirations of communities across the United States.
“PAI recognizes abortion as essential health care and access to abortion as a human right. We will fight to keep the rest of the world moving forward to protect them as the United States takes a massive step backwards.”
PAI champions policies that put women, youth and at-risk communities in charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. We work with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and our network of more than 120 funded partners across 36 countries to remove roadblocks to accessing sexual and reproductive health services and support. For nearly six decades, PAI has helped communities succeed by upholding their basic rights.
To learn more, visit www.pai.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.