Restrictions on the right to abortion are against public health – 05/03/2022 – World

The news of the leak of the draft of a potential decision of the Supreme Court of the United States reversing the understanding that for decades has ensured access to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy causes alarm, because we know that the guarantee of the right to abortion is inseparable from the guarantee of the right to health.

If the reversal threat of Roe vs. Wade comes to fruition, it will leave thousands of Americans at the mercy of arbitrary policy decisions, stripped of scientific evidence, by state legislators that may even completely bar the right to abortion.

Not guaranteeing access to this procedure negatively affects the lives of women and people who may be pregnant, families and society as a whole. It mainly affects people in contexts of greater vulnerability and who are constantly subjugated to racist, capableist and heteronormative structures.

This is not very different in the USA, a country that also has and reproduces many inequities. Proof of this is that, even with the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, 1973, American women in contexts of greater vulnerability continue to have to overcome multiple barriers to accessing abortion — cost, limited mobility, waiting periods and arbitrary limits on gestational age imposed by clinics and states.

As in Brazil, these barriers have little effect on rich, white women, who can access private clinics in states without these barriers.

Abortion (at any stage of pregnancy), as already well established by the World Health Organization, is a matter of health — public and individual. Abortion is a public health issue because we know that its criminalization leads to preventable deaths of the most vulnerable people.

A potent example is Uruguay, which has zeroed maternal deaths from abortion with the legalization and provision of the procedure in a safe way. The reverse is tragically true, a truth that we live in Brazil. The country is a fearful, preventable and reversible example of what happens in the context of laws restricting voluntary termination of pregnancy.

Not only do we have 100% preventable abortion deaths and morbidities: we lack knowledge about basic issues in sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is not by chance that annually there are around 20,000 live births in children up to 14 years old (victims of rape of the vulnerable). This represents a social tragedy and a violation of health rights such as access to abortion — as well as a risk to the health and lives of these thousands of children.

Any decision, anywhere and at any time, that fails to protect and guarantee abortion is against vast scientific evidence, replicable and accumulated over several decades. It goes against international determinations and agreements on the most basic rights that women and people who can conceive have, such as the right to sexual and reproductive health. It also goes against ethical principles so dear to liberal cultures, such as autonomy.

Essentially, decisions that restrict the guarantee of abortion are decisions against life and public health. It is the duty of any State to safeguard the health of the population and protect the most vulnerable, creating contexts for historical and present inequities to be corrected — the decriminalization of abortion is one of them.

About Jenni Smith

She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

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