In a resolution on global threats to abortion rights, today the European Parliament (EP) called for the United States and other governments to protect abortion rights. The resolution expressed grave concern about the global threats to abortion rights and the consequences to women’s rights if the U.S. Supreme Court acts to revoke the constitutional right to abortion.
The resolution is the first response by European or global policy makers on the risk of possible backsliding of abortion rights ahead of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In the case—in which the Center for Reproductive Rights is challenging a Mississippi abortion ban—the state of Mississippi has asked the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and find there is no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.
The resolution also follows the adoption of ever-more extreme abortion bans and restrictions by U.S. states and roll back of legal protections for abortion access in other countries, including Poland.
The EP urged governments across the world to take action to prevent backsliding of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and called on EU Member States to decriminalize abortion and remove barriers to access.
Leah Hoctor, Senior Regional Director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement welcomed the adoption of the resolution by the EU’s only directly elected body:
“As the European Parliament firmly outlined today, the possible regression on abortion rights in the United States gives rise to grave concerns. This resolution sends a clear signal that the roll back of legal protections for abortion is contrary to human rights and must be met with a robust response.”
The resolution stressed that since bans and other restrictions on abortion disproportionately affect women living in poverty, women who cannot afford to travel to clinics in neighboring states or countries are at greater risk of undergoing unsafe and life-threatening procedures.
The resolution recognized that bans and other restrictions on abortion disproportionately affect individuals experiencing discrimination and living on low incomes, and stressed that women who cannot afford to travel to clinics in neighboring states or countries to obtain abortion care are at greater risk of undergoing unsafe and life-threatening procedures.
Risa Kaufman, Director, U.S. Human Rights at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said:
“The resolution by the European Parliament reflects the growing and profound concern within the global community over abortion regression in the United States, where abortion access is under increasing attack. Its call to action is imperative. This clear regression of a well-established fundamental right violates human rights and will have the gravest impact on people who already face discriminatory obstacles to health care.”
- “Right to safe and legal abortion must be safeguarded, MEPs demand,” European Parliament, 06.09.22