In case you missed it, Dr Anu Kumar, President and CEO of Chapel Hill-based global reproductive health organization Ipas – a non-profit that has worked long and bravely to bring care reproductive health to people around the world living under repressive regimes, released a powerful statement last Friday that predicts the future in a post-Roe v. Wade in the United States.
It is a “must read and share” for anyone who cares about human rights.
Cancellation of Roe v. Wade: A rights-denying decision that will devastate access to abortion
The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is officially denying millions of American residents the basic rights to health care, bodily autonomy and liberty. In the coming weeks, 26 US 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 are getting harder to come by, especially for black, indigenous, and people of color, as well as those struggling to make ends meet. Women face greater economic hardship and their children have fewer resources. Women, pregnant women 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 have seen police raids on abortion clinics, and in Nicaragua, we have seen doctors stop providing life-saving treatment because they fear arrest. In places like El Salvador, and in the past in Nepal and Rwanda, women have been imprisoned when abortion is criminalized.
The protections offered by Roe v. Wade did not guarantee access for all; but this inhumane decision now forces people to endure even greater hardship when it comes to essential health care. Marginalized communities, especially people of color, who already face discrimination and undue surveillance of their bodies, will be criminalized for their pregnancy outcomes.
With this decision, the United States joins a handful of autocratic and undemocratic countries determined to deny human rights and restrict access to abortion as the rest of the world moves towards reproductive justice for all. . Middle- and low-income countries like Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo have recently liberalized their abortion laws. And in Central and Latin America, the feminist Green Wave movement has gained momentum, with countries like Argentina and Colombia liberalizing their laws.
Ipas will continue to advocate for access to safe and legal abortion everywhere because we believe that everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, should be able to determine their own future.