Texas anti-abortion law: UN condemns the law as worst form of sex discrimination

TEXAS

The new Texas anti-abortion law has been condemned by the United Nations human rights experts as direct and extreme violation of the international law by denying women the right of control over their own bodies and thereby posing a potential danger to their lives.

Melissa Upreti, the chair of the UN’s working group on discrimination against women and girls, slammed the Texas abortion law, SB 8, as “structural sex and gender-based discrimination at its worst”. Upreti is one of five independent experts charged by the UN human rights council in Geneva to advocate elimination of discrimination against women and girls on various grounds around the world. The human rights lawyer from Nepal said in her damning remarks while talking to The Guardian, “This new law will make abortion unsafe and deadly, and create a whole new set of risks for women and girls. It is profoundly discriminatory and violates a number of rights guaranteed under international law.”

Upreti also criticized the Supreme Court of the United States of America. “The law and the way it came about – through the refusal of the US supreme court to block it based on existing legal precedent – has not only taken Texas backward, but in the eyes of the international community, it has taken the entire country backward,” Upreti said. Last week the Supreme Court of US, that is led by right wing majority, voted by 5 to 4 votes to allow going ahead of the Texas law. This was despite the new law being an anti of court’s own ruling of legalizing abortion in US in historic 1973 ruling of Roe VS Wade.

Reem Alsalem, the UN’s independent monitor on violence against women also slammed the court’s ruling of giving green flag to the controversial law. “Through this decision the supreme court of the United States has chosen to trample on the protection of women’s reproductive rights, thereby exposing them and abortion providers to more violence.”

SB 8 law of Texas bans all abortions after initial cardiac activity is able to be detected in the fetus, usually at around six weeks of pregnancy. Legislation to ban abortion so early are often misleadingly called ‘heartbeat bills’, even though the heart has not yet formed at this stage.

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