The top United Nations human rights official denounced the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn the national right to abortion as “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.”
The statement by Michele Bachelet, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, is the latest sign that the U.S. high court’s moves are making waves far beyond America’s shores. The leading Chinese state propaganda organ on Thursday ran a similarly critical story on the court’s striking down of state gun control laws.
The U.S. abortion ruling “represents a major setback after five decades of protection for sexual and reproductive health and rights in the U.S. through Roe v Wade,” Ms. Bachelet, a former leftist president of Chile, said in a statement just hours after the court acted. “It is a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.”
Ms. Bachelet argued that international human rights law ensures women have access to “safe, legal and effective abortion.”
“This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the U.S., in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights,” she added.
She said the ruling makes the United States an outlier internationally, where she said dozens of countries have moved to expand abortion access over the last quarter-century.
“With today’s ruling, the U.S. is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend,” she said.
The Chilean announced this month that she would be seeking a second four-year term in the high-profile post. She received significant criticism in the U.S. and from private rights groups after a recent, heavily scripted trip to China to investigate charges of genocide and slave labor against the Communist regime in the mostly Muslim Xinjiang region.