UN Urged to Intervene Over Destruction of US Abortion Rights
March 2, 2023
Cited article by The Guardian
HRRC joins the nearly 200 human rights groups in urging the United Nations to hold accountable the United States for its destruction of abortion rights. The restrictions to abortion access is an attack on bodily autonomy and human rights and threatens the lives of millions.
Nearly 200 human rights organizations and experts submitted a joint letter to the UN urging for intervention over the deteriorating rights to abortion and access within the US. Since overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022, an estimated 22 million women and girls are living under laws that prohibit them from receiving abortion care in the US. In the statement, the signatories write that these restrictions deny “women’s decisional and bodily autonomy in a way that rejects the agency, dignity and equality of people who can become pregnant.”
As the US is a member state of the UN, overturning abortion rights affects their international obligations. These include the obligation "to protect and uphold the rights to life, health, privacy, liberty and security, along with freedoms from torture and inhumane, cruel or degrading treatment." Further, the letter notes the UN committee already deemed refusal of abortion access as equivalent to severe mental and physical torture, thus illustrating the US is failing to protect human rights. The signatories request the UN approach the issue with the same scrutiny as was done in the cases of abortion rights in Ireland and El Salvador.