Statement from the International Human Rights Committee on the Supreme Court’s Decision to Overturn Roe and Casey

Ramya Jawahar Kudekallu, Committee Chair

Access to abortion is protected under international human rights law. Human rights standards include protected access to abortion as integral to the right to health, life, privacy, equality, and non-discrimination, as well as freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The United States is bound by several international human rights treaties to uphold the right to abortion, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The United States is retrogressing and failing to support international human rights by overturning established precedent providing constitutional protections for abortion access.

The amicus brief filed by the United Nations Mandate Holders in the Dobbs case found that: “The United States, which is a leading State in terms of formulating international human rights standards, is allowing its women to lag behind in the respect for these standards. While all women are victims of these “missing” rights, women who are poor; Native American, African American, Hispanic, and Asian women; women who are members of ethnic minorities; migrant women; lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or intersex persons; women with disabilities; and older women are in a situation of heightened vulnerability.”

The United States Government must now act to protect the right to abortion or risk causing irreparable harm to women and girls and subverting their rights to health, equality, life and privacy, and their right to be free from discrimination, torture, gender-based violence, and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

Read the Brief by the UN Mandate Holder