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U.S. Supreme Court overturns one of the world’s most extreme abortion regimes, returns decision to state-level democratic process

U.S. Supreme Court overturns one of the world’s most extreme abortion regimes, returns decision to state-level democratic process

  • US Supreme Court justices have decided that each U.S. state has the freedom to determine its own abortion laws, including protections for unborn life from its earliest stages

  • Decision ends 49 years under the Roe v. Wade abortion regime, which positioned the U.S. among the most extreme six countries in the world, along with China and North Korea, permitting abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy

WASHINGTON, D.C. (24 June 2022) – The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that each U.S. state has the freedom to determine its own laws on abortion, including protections for unborn life from its earliest stages, in today’s judgement in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

This marks a dramatic shift away from the United States’ previous abortion framework established by Roe v. Wade in 1973, which positioned the U.S. among only six countries in the world, including China and North Korea, permitting abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

At issue was the state of Mississippi’s law protecting life by limiting abortion on demand after 15 weeks gestation, a law which an abortion facility, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenged.

“By upholding the state of Mississippi’s right to limit abortion on demand, the U.S. Supreme Court has corrected its grave error and restored the proper understanding that the U.S. Constitution does not protect a right to abortion. States now have the freedom to enact crucial protections for unborn life, and must recommit to supporting women through pregnancy and beyond,” said Elyssa Koren, Director of Legal Communications for ADF International. 

U.S. states may now come into alignment with international norms fully protecting unborn life 

American abortion laws, which vary by state, have been out of step with the vast majority of countries, positioning the U.S. among the most extreme in the world. United Nations data demonstrates that only 1 in 3 countries permit abortion on demand. Of those, the majority permit the practice only up to 12-weeks gestation. 

“The U.S. is correcting course after decades of abortion extremism, showing the world that it’s never too late to restore human rights. This judgment realigns the U.S. with Europe and the majority of other countries that protect unborn children from abortion on demand, by recognizing that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to take an innocent life,” continued Koren.

Dobbs has international implications for the abortion debate

In 2022, the Biden administration increased its annual budget for international “sexual and reproductive health and rights” services by 9%, totaling $597 million in program allocations around the world.

“The U.S. is the greatest international exporter of the abortion agenda. Many developing countries have been subject to coercive pressures, tied to American funding, that directly resulted in the unwanted liberalization of their abortion laws. By showing that the abortion debate is dramatically changing in the U.S., we hope that the Dobbs decision will reduce the aggressive influence of the U.S., thereby reinvigorating countries seeking to exercise their right to self-determination to better safeguard unborn life,” said Koren.

The idea of permitting abortion on demand up to birth has proven to be unpopular. In national polling, 70% of women in the UK said that they would like to see the UK’s 24-week gestational limit lowered to earlier in pregnancy. In the US, only 1 in 3 Americans support the extremist framework put in place by Roe.

“Women deserve better care and support than abortion can offer. And medical research shows that the humanity of the unborn child is undeniable. At six weeks, an unborn child has a beating heart and by 15 weeks unborn children can suck their thumbs, have fully formed noses and lips, eyes and eyelids. Recent research shows that they may feel pain from as early as 12 weeks. And a baby now can survive outside the womb at 21 weeks. A state truly concerned with freedom and human rights should use its resources to support every mother and child, because both lives matter in a pregnancy,” commented Lois McLatchie, Communications Officer for ADF International and ADF UK.

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CONTACT PHONE: +43 1 904 9555 

E-MAIL: globalmedia@adfinternational.org

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