“We had really hoped the U.S. would lead on this issue,” Tedros said.
The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday criticized the U.S. 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, AP reports.
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.
“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 U.S.,” Tedros said, adding that he was concerned the Supreme Court’s decision was a move “backwards.” In recent years, the U.S. has supported numerous maternal health care programs in developing countries, including access to reproductive health care.
© Copyright LaPresse