The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) has said the United States Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs Wade abortion rights has dire implications for women and girls in the USA and worldwide.
This was contained in a statement signed by Helen Clark, Board Chair, PMNCH, and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
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PMNCH, which is hosted by the World Health Organisations, is the world’s largest alliance for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and rights, issued a statement following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its historic 1973 ruling on abortion rights, Roe vs Wade.
“With one misguided decision, the US Supreme Court has today ended almost 50 years of abortion rights protection for women and girls in the USA, and made the prospects of an unprecedented global rollback of sexual and reproductive rights all the more likely going forward.
“The decision instantly makes the procedure illegal in at least 22 states.
“Women and girls are now law-breakers if they seek an abortion in these states.
“Criminalizing abortion doesn’t remove abortion practices – it just removes access to safe abortions, leaving many vulnerable and plunging sexual and reproductive health and rights for American women and girls into turmoil.
“Women in poor and marginalized communities will bear the brunt of the repeal, and there is a definite racial dimension to this.
“We already know that black women at all educational levels in the US are most likely to suffer from restrictive abortion policies associated with decreased access to abortion care and increased risk of unintended teen births.
“The effects of the repeal will extend way beyond US borders. As often said, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold.
“Due to the repeal, experts predict a fall in US bilateral and multilateral funding, thus reducing US ability to support the millions of people worldwide who need access to family planning and abortion services.
“The US ruling will lend spurious legitimacy to those worldwide who seek to restrict the rights of women and may encourage some countries to move towards regressive and restrictive abortion laws.
“This will have massive implications, particularly when so many people globally are on the move due to conflicts and other disasters,” the statement said.
The group further called on global leaders to firmly protect the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls.