The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday criticized the US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, saying the decision to no longer recognize a constitutional right to abortion was “a setback” that would ultimately cost lives.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing that decades of scientific data prove that access to safe and legal abortion saves lives.
世卫组织总干事Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus告诉媒体，几十年的科学数据表明，允许安全合法的堕胎可以挽救生命。
“The evidence is irrefutable,” Tedros said. “Restricting (abortion) drives women and girls toward unsafe abortions resulting in complications, even death.” 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.
“We hadn’t really expected this from the US,” Tedros said, adding that he was concerned the Supreme Court’s decision was a move “backwards.”
The WHO’s chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, said the UN health agency’s position on abortion was based on decades of data from numerous countries.
“I know from own experience, working in India, that having access to safe abortion is a life-saving measure,” Swaminathan said. She said denying a woman access to abortion was “like denying someone a life-saving drug.”
She said bans on abortion would do little to reduce the number of procedures while people who undergo unsafe abortions are at risk of developing fatal blood infections.
In recent years, the trend among countries has been to increase access to abortion, including regions where there was staunch opposition, like Latin America, she said.