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Abortion as Legal Right in United States

American constitution emphasized over the individual rights as the utmost priority. Roe versus Wade case played a huge role to constitutionalize and administer the fundamental right of individual to abortion in American legislation. Being the paragon of the progressive policy over the autonomy and individual agency for the abortion is considered as the global policy of US. Recently in turning the Roe versus Wade case and put constitutional wires for the abortion rights is one of the basic shift in the right provision to the individuals in the United States. Abortion right is a legal and political right because the individual owns the body and in 21st Century the right to decide for own body must be individual agency. The backsliding of the progressive rights like abortion right in United States is the backsliding of fundamental rights. Moreover the abortion right plays a huge role in democratization of the rights. With the advent of populist leader and populist tendencies in American politics the shift in the basic human rights is discernible. The emergence of Donald Trump as president halt many fundamental rights of individual in the states. The turn and twist of abortion right is one of those. Despite all the politicization of the abortion rights it must be individual agency to decide for their progeny and right to birth.

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that women no longer had a constitutional right to an abortion. In Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court ruled that the issue of abortion is left entirely to the political process. So the legal and fundamental right of an individual is harmed as a result of a political procedure. On the face of it, this returns the law to the state it was in before 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided. Each state decides for itself whether to protect abortion rights or whether to outlaw some or all abortions. More than half of the states are expected to ban all or virtually all abortions.

The US Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade had disastrous effects on abortion rights across the country. Countries have an obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil human rights, including those related to sexual and reproductive health and autonomy. Where safe and legal abortion services are unreasonably restricted or not fully available, many other internationally protected human rights may be at risk, including the rights to non-discrimination and equality; life, health, and information; freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; privacy and bodily autonomy and integrity; the right to decide on the number and spacing of children; the right to freedom; the right to take advantage of scientific progress; and the right to freedom of conscience and religion.

Human Rights Watch believes that reproductive rights are human rights, including the right to access abortion. States have an obligation to provide women, girls, and other pregnant people with access to safe and legal abortion as part of their basic human rights. As Human Rights Watch has argued in amicus curiae briefs to supreme courts in countries around the world—from Brazil and Colombia to South Korea, and most recently with partner organizations in the United States—international human rights law and relevant case law support the conclusion that decisions on artificial interruption of pregnancy belong to the pregnant person alone, without interference or unreasonable restrictions by the state or third parties. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls and young women aged 15 to 19, and children aged 10 to 14 are at higher risk of complications and death from pregnancy than adults. The WHO also found that removing restrictions on abortion leads to a reduction in maternal mortality. The UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), which monitors states’ compliance with the ICCPR, has noted a link between restrictive abortion laws and threats to the lives of women and girls. It expressly states that states parties to the convention may not regulate abortion access in any way that would force pregnant women to have unsafe abortions and that states must ensure safe, legal, and effective access to abortion to prevent life-threatening effects on pregnant women’s health. And ensure that they are not subjected to significant pain or suffering, particularly in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or where the pregnancy is not viable. Even where abortion is technically legal, harsh restrictions can make it unavailable to marginalized people. This forces pregnant people, especially from marginalized groups, to seek unsafe and clandestine abortion options and risk criminal or civil penalties, even if their situation falls within what is legally permissible. In addition, the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights stated: “A] wide range of laws, policies, and practices undermine autonomy and the right to equality and non-discrimination in the full enjoyment of the right to sexual and reproductive health, for example, the criminalization of abortion by

To turn the case for abortion right in United State is against the fundamental rights. The struggle for democratic right and progressive rights again at the helm of the ungovernability. The status of women’s autonomy for owning their right to give birth is debatable issue which must be dealt with great care and concern. With the rise of demagoguery and authoritarian tendencies human rights have been compromised. We need to combat these issues with clear and nuanced stances.