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Women’s Refugee Commission Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade

In reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, ending nearly 50 years of the constitutionally guaranteed right to abortion and bodily autonomy in the U.S., Sarah Costa, the Women’s Refugee Commission’s executive director, issued the following statement:

“As an organization promoting the rights and well-being of displaced and migrant women and children around the world, including in the United States, the Women’s Refugee Commission stands in solidarity with those impacted by this unconscionable decision. Negating the rights of people to their bodily autonomy, health, and privacy goes against the values we advocate for governments like the United States to uphold.

“The egregious reversal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court jeopardizes the health and lives of people everywhere, especially the most marginalized, and will put countless lives at risk. The decision rejects the United States’ longstanding commitment to human rights, including the fundamental right to privacy and to make decisions about one’s own health and body. Safe abortion is health care and the right and ability to access it should be upheld. Rather than advancing equality, this dangerous decision will ultimately threaten the safety, well-being, and self-determination of people in the United States and abroad. Those marginalized by poverty, discrimination, and displacement — including refugees and migrants — will undoubtedly face the worst consequences when attempting to access abortion care, which is now even more difficult, if not impossible in many states.

“As we have seen from past U.S. measures that restrict abortion rights and access, the impact of this decision will be far reaching. The Supreme Court’s scaling back of women’s rights will also undermine the United States’ credibility in its global leadership on human rights and gender equality. It will have a devastating effect on efforts to ensure that humanitarian assistance meets critical needs and upholds human rights everywhere, including for communities fleeing conflict, persecution, and disaster.

“People uprooted from their homes already face losing access to critical, lifesaving services such as maternal health care and contraceptive services and they are also at heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence. This puts them at higher risk of unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality, and unsafe abortion. U.S. policies and programs should enable — not undermine — displaced women’s and girls’ ability to get the quality care that they need. This decision will make achieving this goal even more difficult and life-threatening than it already is.”


Learn more about WRC’s work on sexual and reproductive health.