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Thursday, March 23, 2023

US decision on abortion sparks global debate

SAN JUAN ( Associated Press) – The end of constitutional protections for abortion in the United States on Friday sparked enthusiasm among abortion opponents around the world and fears among abortion rights advocates that the ruling in Washington is likely to move towards legalization in their countries. may threaten the steps of

The Supreme Court struck down Landmark Row Vs. Wade shows that “such rights are always in danger of being overwhelmed,” said Ruth Zurbriggen, an Argentine activist who is a member of the Red Companera de Latinoamerica y El Caribe, a group that advocates abortion. defends rights.

But in El Salvador, the president of Fundación Vida SV, Sarah Larrin, expressed hope that the ruling would spur anti-abortion campaigns around the world.

“We are confident that with this decision it will be possible to end abortion in the United States and around the world,” said the activist protesting pregnancy interruption.

In Kenya, Fonsina Archana saw news of the ruling on Friday and said she was terrified.

“This is being done in the United States, which should be an example for the women’s rights movement,” said Archana, an abortion rights activist. “If this happens in America, what will happen to me here in Africa? It’s a very sad day.”

He says he fears the ruling will encourage opponents of abortion in Africa, who have attacked reproductive health clinics or threatened attacks. “There is no safe place on the mainland,” he said.

Abortion in sub-Saharan Africa is already more dangerous than in any other region of the world, and most women of child-bearing age live in countries where laws restrict the procedure in some way, a research group said. According to the Guttmacher Institute. based think tank that supports abortion rights.

Archana said that civil society groups in Africa will now come together to formulate strategies to protect themselves and women. She said that a few months ago the World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines on abortion care, many had won hearts. “We took one step forward and now we have five steps back again.”

The decision, which leaves it up to the legislators of each state in the United States to decide whether to allow or prohibit abortion, flooded social networks in Argentina, where a law came into force in January 2021 that limits pregnancy to the 14th week of pregnancy. legalizes abortion. years of discussion.

Anti-abortion activists applauded Friday’s decision. MLA Amalia Granata tweeted: “There is justice in the world again. We are going to achieve that in Argentina as well.”

In more conservative countries such as El Salvador, where abortions are illegal regardless of the circumstances and where nearly 180 women with obstetric emergencies have been prosecuted in the past two decades, Larin warned that the ruling could be a call to loosen restrictions on abortion. may inspire more efforts. United States of america.

“Probably the campaigns promoting abortion in our countries will intensify (a) that funding and abortion clinics in the United States are going to be closed as they have been doing in recent years,” he said.

At the Vatican, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said this is a moment of reflection, healing of wounds, and civic dialogue.

“While a large part of a country with a long democratic tradition has changed its position on this issue, it is also a challenge for the whole world,” the academy said.

In Mexico, lawyer and activist Veronica Cruz, a member of the feminist organization “Las Libres”, said the ruling could promote anti-abortion groups, but added that it may not have any effect in the country, where 32 of the There are 10 states. In recent years, abortion up to 12 weeks of gestation has been legalized.

He stressed that the ruling could lead to an increase in calls for aid from American women who want to have abortions in Mexico or buy pills to terminate their pregnancies at Mexican pharmacies.

Cruz said that so far this year, local activists have accompanied about 1,500 American women who have traveled to Mexico for these purposes.

Ricardo Cano of the anti-abortion group Fronte Nacional Por la Familia also doubts that the advance of leftist ideologies in the region will have any effect in Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America.

Colombia, which became the most recent Latin American country to expand access to abortion in February, will not be affected by either ruling, estimates Catalina Martinez, director of the Latin America and Caribbean Center for Reproductive Rights.

“I do not see a setback in countries that have taken significant steps, for example Colombia or Mexico, with the decisions of the courts, because they were created through a modern constitutional framework … Integrates obligations. level and regional,” Martinez assured the Associated Press from Bogota.

Meanwhile, the heads of state of at least two members of the Group of Seven called the decision “terrible”.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “No government, politician or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.” He said he “cannot imagine the fear or anger” that women in the United States would be feeling after the ruling.

France’s foreign ministry has urged US federal officials to do “everything possible” to ensure American women continue to have access to abortion, calling it “a question of health and survival”. French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet that “abortion is a fundamental right of all women.”

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “The revoking of women’s fundamental right to make decisions about their own bodies is incredibly disturbing. Here in New Zealand we have recently decided to decriminalize abortion and treat it as a health problem. The law has been made to be treated as such, not criminal.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet that he was “concerned and disappointed” by the decision, as it undermines both “women’s rights and their access to medical care”.

Whether it is legal or not, the UN agency concerned with sexual and reproductive health said abortion “occurs very frequently”, and global statistics show that restricting access to abortion increases the risk of death.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the United Nations Population Fund issued a statement saying that according to its 2022 report, nearly all pregnancies in the world were unwanted and more than 60% could end in miscarriage.

An impressive 45% of all abortions in the world are unsafe, making it one of the leading causes of maternal death.

He noted that almost all unsafe abortions of pregnancy occur in developing countries, and expressed fears that “if restrictions on performing them were increased, unsafe abortions would increase in the world.”

In Puerto Rico, the island’s Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit abortions after the 22nd week of gestation or when a doctor determines that a fetus is viable, sole if the woman’s life is in danger. is the exception. The proposal is now in the hands of the island’s House of Representatives.

Dr. Migna Rivera García, president of the Puerto Rico Psychological Association, said the Supreme Court’s decision has caused abortion rights activists to reconsider their strategies.

“It causes a lot of uncertainty these days because of the environment in Puerto Rico,” he said. “This project hurts poor women the most, black women… they don’t have access to services like other social groups.”


Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Journalist of the Associated Press, Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires; Marcos Aleman in San Salvador; Edith Lederer at the United Nations; Fabiola Sanchez in Mexico City; Francis D’Amilio in Rome; Astrid Suarez in Bogota and Associated Press journalists from around the world contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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