The United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its own landmark 1973 judgment in Roe Vs. Wade that made abortion a constitutional right in the country could stigmatise abortion worldwide, according to the Population Foundation of India (PFI).
“Given the global influence of the U.S. across every sphere, this is likely to stigmatise reproductive health worldwide, affecting millions, if not billions of women," Poonam Muttreja, executive director, PFI, added.
"The decision’s implication that reproductive rights are not a part of fundamental rights could lead to similar interpretations in different countries. Such a legal regime could lead to more unsafe and unregulated abortions worldwide, which are not only a cause of severe health conditions for women but can also prove fatal," she added.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, 26 States in the country are certain or likely to ban abortion without federal protections, including 13 with laws set to be triggered quickly, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Since 1994, four nations, now including the U.S., have rolled back abortion rights. The U.S. is by far the richest and most influential nation to do so. The other three nations to restrict abortion rights are Poland, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
In India, abortion is legal but conditional. Under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) (Amendment) Act, 2021, abortion is permissible up to 24 weeks for women under specified conditions along with the medical opinion of a medical practitioner registered under the MTP Act. Any decision for the termination of pregnancy beyond 24 weeks, only on the ground of foetal abnormalities, can be taken by a Medical Board, END