US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN opposes restricting abortion, affirms nation’s obligation to protect the human right to safe and legal abortion

May 21, 2019

PHOENIX — Following recent laws passed in Georgia and Alabama restricting women’s right to safe and legal abortion, the US Human Rights Network issued the following statement on abortion rights:

The US Human Rights Network affirms that access to safe and legal abortion is a human right. Ensuring safe and legal abortion is part of the nation’s obligations to eliminate discrimination against women and to protect women’s right to health. Laws criminalizing abortion are discriminatory and a barrier to women’s access to health care.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), denying women access to abortion where there is a threat to the woman’s life or health, or where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, violates the rights to health, privacy and, in certain cases, to be free from cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment [1].

Georgia recently became the eighth state to outlaw abortion after six weeks, following Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Iowa, Louisiana, Utah, and North Dakota. Then, Alabama passed the nation’s strictest abortion ban, including banning abortion at every stage of pregnancy and punishing doctors who perform abortions with 99 years of prison time, without exceptions for cases of women or girls who become pregnant through sexual violence or incest. The restrictive Alabama bill is designed to bring the case to the Supreme Court where Brett Kavanaugh sits, well-positioned to overturn Roe v. Wade and take away women’s reproductive rights.

  • The growing number of restrictive state laws are part of a conservative, organized effort to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that established that abortion is legal before the fetus is viable outside the womb, at around 24 weeks. The Roe v. Wade ruling has protected women’s right to choose in the US since 1973.

The US Human Rights Network firmly opposes all state laws that restrict women’s right to abortion as protected in Roe v. Wade. The Network likewise opposes any further efforts to reduce protections set forth in Roe v. Wade, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham’s hearings on a nationwide, 20-week abortion ban. We affirm the nation’s obligation to protect the human right to safe and legal abortion.

[1] OHCHR, Information Series on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Please visit USHRN partner websites for further information and details on how you can get involved in the fight for women’s reproductive rights:


Link to recent USHRN Statements:

USHRN opposes Donald Trump’s nomination of Kelly Craft as next United Nations Ambassador

USHRN condemns Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting

USHRN denounces Donald Trump’s attacks on Representative Ilhan Omar

USHRN opposes the perpetuation of racial bias in unregulated facial recognition softwares

USHRN Statement on a Declaration of National Emergency to Build Trump’s Border Wall

USHRN Statement on the Removal of Immigrant Children from Parents at the Border