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US abortion decision ‘horrendous’ and ‘appalling’, world leaders say

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Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade — and revoke the constitutional right to abortion — sparked widespread condemnation outside the United States.

World Leaders and Abortion Rights Advocates describe the decision as “horrible” and “appalling”.

“One of the darkest days for women’s rights in my life,” Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon wrote on Twitter just minutes after the ruling was published.

Supreme Court ruling leaves states free to ban abortion

The vote was 6 to 3 to enforce a restrictive Mississippi law banning all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It overturned almost 50 years of case law guaranteeing the right to procedure.

For leaders and activists in places with more liberal abortion laws, Friday’s decision prompted anger and resignation about the future of the United States — as well as concerns about how the decision could affect the issue in their own country.

In recent decades, more than 50 countries have liberalized their abortion laws, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global advocacy group opposed to abortion restrictions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the news was “horrifying” and said he could not “imagine the fear and anger” of women losing the right to abortion. “Women must be able to decide freely about their lives,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter.

At a press conference in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the decision as “a big step backwards”. The leader of Britain’s right-wing Conservative government added that he had always believed in “women’s right to choose and I stand by that view”.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter that abortion “is a fundamental right for all women”.

“He must be protected,” he said.

In many countries, abortion is protected by law, not by court order.

“I am very disappointed because women’s rights must be protected,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told Reuters. “And I would have expected America to protect those rights.”

The decision received significant support outside the country, particularly in Eastern Europe and Latin America. In Europe, some members of the extreme right expressed their support for this decision.

Beatrix von Storch, a prominent member of Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, tweeted on Friday that the decision was “good” and sent a signal of hope for unborn life. “It will radiate throughout the West,” von Storch wrote.

The Vatican issued a statement acknowledging the “heated debate” around the issue and said the US decision would challenge “the whole world”. The head of the Catholic Church, which opposes abortion, called for “a non-ideological debate on the place of the protection of life in a civil society”.

The decision of the United States to restrict the right to abortion is out of step with a general trend towards the liberalization of abortion rules. Argentina, Ireland and Mexico have removed strict abortion laws in recent years.

German lawmakers on Friday repealed a 1933 law that banned doctors from advertising abortion services. And Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion in a landmark ruling last September.

“I have rarely been so proud to be part of the Supreme Court of Mexico as today,” said Chief Justice Arturo Zaldivar. tweeted Friday, in a clear allusion to the American court decision. “All rights for all. Until equality and dignity become customary.

Is the United States a liberal abortion exception, as the Supreme Court opinion says?

Demonstrations against the US decision were planned in European capitals, including London; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Paris. Some health experts have said they are deeply concerned that the United States is leading a small group of nations to oppose liberalized abortion laws.

A statement signed by more than 100 global health care organizations called the Supreme Court’s decision “a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people” and said the United States was ” out of step with the global community’s commitment to advancing human rights.

Alvaro Bermejo, chief executive of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said in a statement that the decision would embolden “other anti-abortion, anti-women and anti-gender movements and impact other reproductive freedoms.” .

“We know full well that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant women die, as we have seen around the world, most recently in Poland,” Bermejo said, referring to Poland’s decision to further toughen its already strict abortion laws last year.

Poland is one of only two developed countries to have decided to further restrict the right to abortion in the 21st century. The other is the United States.

“In 2018, the people of Ireland spoke out loud and clear. Repeal one of the toughest abortion bans in the world. Give Irish women their rights. We held America up as an example of freedom,” said Jennifer Cassidy, a former diplomat and academic from Ireland. wrote on Twitter.

With Roe vs. Wade knocked down, the United States became unrecognizable, Cassidy added.

Other voices from around the world agreed. “A day of great anguish for women, girls and all people in the United States,” wrote Debora Diniz, a professor at the University of Brasilia School of Law. on Twitter.

Vickie Remoe, a writer from Sierra Leone, added that she was personally devastated by the decision, which she saw as “a period of attack on women”.

“I am also concerned about the far-reaching global implications this will have on access to safe abortions around the world,” Remoe wrote. in a tweet“but especially in Africa”.