Global reproductive health experts: The U.S. has joined a truly dreadful list of repressive nations

By: - June 27, 2022 5:54 am
Dr. Anu Kumar. President and CEO of Ipas

In case you missed it, Dr. Anu Kumar, the President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-based global reproductive heath organization Ipas — a nonprofit  that has worked long and courageously to bring reproductive health care to people across the globe living under repressive regimes, issued a powerful statement last Friday that forecasts the future in a post-Roe v. Wade United States.

It’s a “must read and share” for all who care about human rights.

Overturning Roe v. Wade: A rights-denying move that will devastate access to abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade officially denies millions of U.S. residents fundamental rights—to health care, to bodily autonomy, and to freedom. In the coming weeks, 26 U.S. states will severely restrict or outright criminalize abortion.

As a global reproductive justice organization dedicated to expanding access to abortion and contraception for all who need it, Ipas strongly condemns this decision.

We know from our work around the world that criminalizing abortion does not stop abortions. But they do become harder to get, especially for Black, indigenous, and people of color, as well as those struggling to make ends meet. Women face greater economic struggles, and their children have fewer resources. Women, pregnant people and providers will go to jail. Many people will be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. Everyone will have less freedom.

In Brazil, we’ve seen police raids of abortion clinics, and in Nicaragua we’ve seen doctors stop providing lifesaving treatment because they’re scared of arrest. In places like El Salvador, and in the past in Nepal and Rwanda, women have been put in jail when abortion is criminalized.

The protections Roe v. Wade offered did not guarantee access for all; but this inhumane decision now forces people to endure even greater hardships for what is essential health care. Marginalized communities, particularly people of color, who already face discrimination and undue surveillance of their bodies, will be criminalized for their pregnancy outcomes.

With this decision, the U.S. joins a handful of autocratic, anti-democratic countries bent on denying human rights and restricting access to abortion when the rest of the world is progressing toward reproductive justice for all. Middle-to-low-income countries like Benin and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have recently liberalized their abortion laws. And in Central and Latin America, the Green Wave feminist movement has swelled, with countries like Argentina and Colombia liberalizing their laws.

Ipas will continue to advocate for access to safe, legal abortion everywhere because we believe everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should be able to determine their own future.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors and voices regular commentaries, and hosts the 'News & Views' weekly radio show/podcast.