The UN deputy high commissioner for human rights sounded off on U.S. abortion policy this week, calling it “gender-based violence against women” in comments to The Guardian.
Kate Gilmore characterized the anti-abortion stance held by the Trump administration as a form of extremist hate, calling denial of the procedure “torture” and “a deprivation of a right to health.”
She pointed to laws recently passed or being considered in several states that serve to highly restrict, if not effectively ban, abortions within their borders.
“This is a crisis. It’s a crisis directed at women,” Gilmore said.
But not all women will feel the effects of that crisis equally, she said.
“We have to stand with the evidence and facts and in solidarity with women, and in particular young women and minority women who are really under the gun. This doesn’t affect well-off women in the same way as women with no resources, or able-bodied women the way it affects disabled women, and urban women the way it affects rural women.”
Indeed, research shows that banning abortion does not keep women from terminating their pregnancies but rather turns them instead to unsafe methods to achieve the same results.
The Guardian noted key statistics from the World Health Organization: “In wealthy countries, an estimated 30 women die for every 100,000 unsafe abortions but in poorer countries this rises to 220, found the World Health Organisation. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number is 520.”
At least nine states have now passed legislation restricting abortion access, including Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio, with several more states considering similar laws, The Independent has reported.
Gaining in popularity is the so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill, which bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected — often as early as six weeks into the pregnancy and conceivably before a woman might even know she is pregnant.
All of the restrictive laws are expected to meet legal challenges and be struck down by the courts, likely resulting in the issue making its way before the U.S. Supreme Court.