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WHO chief: U.S. abortion ruling 'a setback,' will cost lives

Virus Outbreak WHO
Posted at 9:01 AM, Jun 29, 2022

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the World Health Organization has criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the decision to no longer recognize a constitutional right to abortion “a setback” that would ultimately cost lives.

Tedros said during a media briefing on Wednesday that decades of “irrefutable” scientific data prove that access to safe and legal abortion saves lives.

He said safe abortion should be understood as health care and warned that limiting its access would disproportionately hit women from the poorest and most marginalized communities.

By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court did not ban abortions. Instead, it left the decision about abortion laws with the states. Thirteen states had trigger laws, which ban abortions following the overturning of Roe.

Tedros says he fears other countries might not understand the implications of the U.S. ruling and move to restrict abortions.