U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating decision to overturn the constitutional protection of right to abortion

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The International Federation for Human Rights’ (FIDH) international board has issued a resolution condemning the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating decision to overturn the protection of the constitutional right to abortion.

Given that by overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade decision protecting the right to abortion at the federal level and by disregarding the growing momentum to recognize women’s sexual and reproductive rights, the Supreme Court of the United States has dismantled the constitutional right to abortion and thus enacted an unprecedented regression in the right of women to control their own bodies which may have repercussions in other countries of the world.

Given that people in situations of vulnerability e.g., rural women, poor women, victims of racism, discrimination and rape will be the first victims of this decision;

Given that this decision is very alarming for the rule of law with regard to women’s rights throughout the world and that the positions of several conservative judges only mark the beginning of an unprecedented attack on the fundamental rights of all people in the USA;

Given that women’s rights are human rights and that it is incumbent on States to recognize and grant them and on civil society worldwide to defend them relentlessly against the attacks of conservative, populist, and reactionary movements that seek to undermine the indivisibility and universality of human rights;

Given that, throughout the world, the access of women, girls, adolescents and marginalised populations to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is threatened, and that restrictions are placed on their access to information, comprehensive sexuality education and other services;

Given that 5.1 million unsafe abortions are performed each year worldwide and that 41% of women of reproductive age live in countries with restrictions on abortion rights;

Given that simultaneously, human rights organisations, especially feminist organisations, have been fighting relentlessly for women’s right to bodily autonomy and, in many cases, have won. In the past five years, abortion has been legalised in Northern Ireland, Argentina and Benin, among others, and 50 countries have liberalised their abortion laws in the last 25 years;

Given its international character, its local roots, its century-old fight for the universality of human rights, its expertise in human rights issues, its knowledge of international and regional systems for the promotion and defence of human rights and its experience in documenting rights violations, the mission of FIDH includes fighting against reactionary and conservative movements that threaten human rights all over the world, and to continue to defend women’s fundamental rights, first and foremost the right to have control over their own bodies, which is essential to their emancipation.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) resolves to:
 condemn in the strongest possible terms the decision of the United States Supreme Court to end constitutional protection of the right to abortion;
 call upon the U.S. Supreme Court not to overturn case law that protects the exercise of fundamental rights and deprives those rights of federal protection;
 call upon U.S. authorities to adopt a law which recognize, grant and protect the the right to abortion;
 reiterate that the struggle in favor of the right to abortion and the right of women to control their own bodies will be decisive in the future actions of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisations;
 reaffirm the importance for civil society in all countries to work together to share experiences and common strategies that defend women’s rights, in particular their sexual and reproductive rights;
 confirm its solidarity with U.S. civil society, particularly women’s rights organisations that have been fighting for women’s sexual and reproductive rights for several decades.

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