United Nations Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:
“The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization represents a devastating loss of hard-won rights for women in the United States, ending a constitutional right that has been protected for nearly 50 years, contravening international human rights standards, and undermining decades of U.S. leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights globally.
“Reproductive rights and the right to bodily autonomy are fundamental and universal. Overwhelming evidence shows that women’s ability to make private decisions about their bodies is indispensable to their health, social and economic well-being, and ability to participate fully in society. The stakes are high and well-known. Allowing people to decide the timing of parenthood makes their families less vulnerable to poverty, and access to full reproductive rights yields a wide array of social and individual benefits, including fewer teen pregnancies and greater equity in maternal health. Restrictive laws don’t reduce abortion – they only make it less safe.
“Overturning Roe risks decades of clear and critical U.S. global leadership that has prioritized gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and which has been precedent setting for liberalization in countries worldwide, consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a wide range of international conventions to which the United States is signatory.
“We deeply lament the Court’s opinion. We will continue to stand for gender equality worldwide, and all the rights that entails.”