What Roe v Wade Means for Human Rights
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What Roe v Wade Means for Human Rights

On Monday night, POLITICO published a leaked draft US Supreme Court opinion on the Mississippi case that would overturn Roe v.Wade.
What Roe v Wade Means for Human Rights

. Last September, in advance the court’s hearing in a case challenging the constitutionality of a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks, we joined dozens of other groups in submitting amicus briefs providing additional context for the court to consider.

The lesson is clear: If an abortion ban like the one in Mississippi becomes law, it will be catastrophic. This is what our brief, submitted together with Amnesty International and the Global Justice center, said that Roe means for human rights: Access to safe and lawful abortion services is firmly rooted in the rights to life; to nondiscrimination; to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and to privacy, among others.

These rights are recognized in international human rights treaties ratified by the United States. In December, after hearing arguments in the Mississippi case, a majority of the justices signaled that they were prepared to overturn the landmark ruling that protects abortion access in the US. If they do, this would put the US out of step with international trends toward greater access. Recently, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico have, by legislative changes or judicial rulings, either decriminalized abortion or loosened restrictions, better protecting women’s health and rights. Please note: it is a DRAFT opinion. Abortion is still legal in the US (Texas notwithstanding). It remains a constitutional and human right. Congress can and should enact legislation to protect abortion access. But as Monday night’s news made clear: The US has reached a crisis moment for abortion access.

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