U.S. abortion decision ‘horrific’ 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”. Crowds gathered to protest in cities including London, Paris and Edinburgh, Scotland.

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

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called the news “horrible”, saying that “no government, politician or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body”.

“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. “I express my solidarity with the women whose freedoms are today challenged by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

The court voted 6-3 on Friday to uphold a Mississippi law banning all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Five judges also voted to overturn deeroverturning nearly 50 years of case law guaranteeing the right to procedure.

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

The United States is now one of only three countries to have restricted access to abortion in the 21st century. 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.

The United States is “out of step with the global community’s commitment to advancing human rights,” more than 100 global health care organizations said in a statement Friday.

In recent years, countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Ireland and Mexico have all taken steps to expand access to abortion. 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.

But the US decision also alarmed supporters worried about its global effects.

“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.

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.

Vickie Remoe, a writer from Sierra Leone, added that she was 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”.

The decision received significant support outside the country, especially in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

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”.

Some members of Europe’s far right expressed their approval. Beatrix von Storch, a prominent member of Germany’s Alternative for Germany party, tweeted on Friday that the decision was “good” and sent a signal of hope for unborn life.

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

“It will radiate throughout the West,” von Storch wrote.

Some political figures have seen parallels with their own national battles.

In Brazil, anti-abortion politicians celebrated the news from the United States. Just a day earlier, right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro expressed outrage that doctors performed an abortion on an 11-year-old girl pregnant with a child conceived by rape.

“The victory in the United States comes a day after the defeat we suffered in Brazil with the murder of the baby of an 11-year-old girl,” Carol De Toni, federal deputy for Santa Catarina, wrote on Facebook. “May the civilizational advance that has taken place in the United States serve as an inspiration to Brazil and may we always save the lives of innocent people.”

Also in Brazil, Debora Diniz, a professor at the University of Brasilia School of Law, wrote on Twitter that it was a “day of great anguish for women, girls and all people of the United States”.

“My solidarity with all women, girls and others living in places in the United States where abortion is now unsafe and criminalized,” she said. wrote.

Mary Beth Sheridan in Mexico City and Karla Adam and Annabelle Timsit in London contributed to this report.

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