What have international leaders said about Roe v Wade being overturned?
World leaders have joined President Biden in condemning the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe v Wade ruling, which had protected a woman’s right to an abortion in the US.
President Biden has branded the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling a “tragic error”, adding: “It’s a sad day for the court and for the country.”
“Health and life of women in this nation now at risk”
In a televised address in the wake of Friday’s ruling, which reverses a legal precedent that for half a century had protected a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in the US, Biden said: “With Roe gone, let’s be very clear: The health and life of women in this nation are now at risk.”
Outside the US, world leaders echoed Biden’s condemnation of the decision, which was powered by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority.
Canadian President Justin Trudeau:
“The news coming out of the United States is horrific. My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion. I can’t imagine the fear and anger you are feeling right now.
“No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. I want women in Canada to know that we will always stand up for your right to choose.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson:
“This is not our court, it’s another jurisdiction, but clearly it has massive impacts on people’s thinking around the world. It’s a very important decision. I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s a big step backwards.
“I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view. And that’s why the UK has the laws that it does and actually we recently took steps to make sure that those laws were enforced throughout the whole of the UK.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:
“One of the darkest days for women’s rights in my lifetime. Obviously the immediate consequences will be suffered by women in the US - but this will embolden anti-abortion & anti-women forces in other countries too. Solidarity doesn’t feel enough right now - but it is necessary.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez:
“We cannot take any right for granted. Social advances are always at risk of moving backwards, and we must defend them each and every day. Woman must be able to decide freely on their lives.”
French President Emmanuel Macron:
“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected. I wish to express my solidarity with the women whose liberties are being undermined by the Supreme Court of the United States.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz:
“There is still a long way to go for gender justice. In Germany - and in many other parts of the world. Women’s rights are threatened. We must defend them resolutely.”
WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:
“I’m concerned and disappointed with the overturning of Roe vs Wade. It’s both reducing women’s rights and access to health care.
“Safe abortion is health care. It saves lives. Restricting it drives women and girls towards unsafe abortions, resulting in complications, even death. The evidence is irrefutable.”
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet:
“[The Supreme Court ruling] is a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.
Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives, free of discrimination, violence and coercion.
This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights.”