A message from the Chair, Prof. Marleen Temmerman

Last month, the long-term pushback against sexual and reproductive health and rights culminated in the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on June 22nd, stripping millions of people of their right to a safe and legal abortion. This is shocking, heart-breaking and a violation of women’s health and rights, and at the same time a clear sign that our global community has to stand with Americans in a powerful act of global solidarity. The USA now joins Poland, El Salvador, and Nicaragua as the only nations to backtrack on or restrict abortion policy in decades. The consequences of this decision will be felt around the world, and we have to join hands to fight back and protect women globally. 
 
Safe abortion access is an essential part of health care. Evidence from around the world shows that restricting access does little to reduce overall abortions, but could drive many more women to seek out unsafe procedures. Unsafe abortion is a leading – but preventable – cause of maternal deaths and morbidities worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The wide-ranging impacts of this decision will fall hardest on our poorest, most vulnerable and most marginalized and underserved communities. 
 
ICRH will continue to fight for health policy and systems that uphold the health, wellbeing, privacy, and dignity of women and girls, and anyone requiring reproductive services. Comprehensive sexuality education, access to family planning, and access to safe abortion are key components to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the devastating consequences of unsafe abortion.