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US abortion ban: Experts urge country to join women’s rights convention

Countries where women have the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy and to all contraceptive methods have the lowest abortion rates.

The committee of experts on women’s rights highlighted this Friday that The United States is one of only seven countries in the world that is not a party to the convention. international law that protects the fundamental guarantees of women, including sexual and reproductive health.

“The Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) urge the United States to join to Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in order to respect, protect, fulfill and promote the human rights of women and girls,” the expert group said in a statement.

CEDAW noted that while the United States signed that instrument in 1980, it still has not ratified it.



UNICEF/Giuseppe Imperato

Countries where women have the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy and to all contraceptive methods have the lowest abortion rates.

A heavy blow to women’s rights

The UN High Commissioner for Human RightsMichelle Bachelet, has referred to the decision of the US Supreme Court a week ago to repeal legal access to abortion as “a serious blow to the fundamental guarantees of women and gender equality”.

The Committee once again reiterated its call to the States parties to eliminate punitive measures for women who undergo an abortion legalize itat least in cases of rape, incest, threats to the life or health of the pregnant woman, and in situations of serious fetal disability.

“With 189 States parties, the CEDAW Convention is the only near-universal treaty that comprehensively protects the human rights of womenincluding their rights to sexual and reproductive health,” the Committee noted.

The UN-appointed panel specifically drew attention to article 16 of the Convention, which “protects the rights of women to decide freely and responsibly about the number and spacing of their children,” adding that unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality.

He also explained that, according to article 12 of the instrument, the right to health includes bodily autonomy and covers the sexual and reproductive freedoms of women and girls.


Abortion rights supporters march in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington.  The banner reads: Choice is a human right.

Unsplash/Gayatri Malhotra

Abortion rights supporters march in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington. The banner reads: Choice is a human right.

Decide on your body

Access to safe and legal abortion and quality post-abortion care, especially in cases of complications from unsafe abortions, contributes to reducing maternal mortality ratesto prevent adolescent and unwanted pregnancies, and to guarantee the right of women to freely decide on their bodies.

The Committee has repeatedly emphasized that denying access to safe and legal abortion is “a serious restriction on the ability of women to exercise their reproductive freedom”, and that “forcing women to carry a pregnancy to term involves mental and physical suffering equivalent to gender-based violence against women and, in certain circumstances, to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in violation of the CEDAW Convention”.

The Committee reiterated its commitment to uphold the human rights of women and girls around the world, stating that “will not surrender to this mandateespecially when it comes to access to safe and legal abortion for all women”.

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Written by Editor TLN

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