On this World Population Day, we must reassert women’s right to choose

Sustainable Population Australia

As the 2022 World Population Day approaches (July 11), Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) calls on the Australian government to reassert a woman’s right to choose and to reject the US Supreme Court’s decision in reversing Roe v. Wade.

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion no longer exists. The original decision had been upheld for 49 years.

SPA national president Ms Jenny Goldie says the reversal of Roe v. Wade jeopardises the health and welfare of American women in those states which are now re-criminalising abortion.

“Abortion bans and restrictions do not reduce unintended pregnancies and the demand for abortion,” says Ms Goldie. “It simply drives women to employ unsafe means to terminate unwanted pregnancies, often leading to morbidity and even death.

“Abortion restrictions have a disproportionate effect on the poor, young people, regional women, immigrants and women with disabilities.

“Abortion should be legal, safe, affordable and rare. This means all who are sexually active should have ready access to contraception. There must be age-appropriate sex education in schools.”

Ms Goldie says that abortion is first and foremost a women’s issue, but also a human-rights one on a much broader scale.

“Early next year, we will reach eight billion people globally yet, even now, nearly a billion are hungry. This year, 50 million people are facing famine from the combined effects of climate change, such as drought and flood, and the war in Ukraine that has reduced the amount of food on the global market and increased the price of fuel and fertiliser.

“The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group issued an important report last week, warning of a cascading climate-security crisis initiated by chronic water shortages, crop failures and diminishing yields, and amplified by more extreme climate events and supply-chain dislocations, globally and across regions in the Asia-Pacific.

“We simply have to stabilise then reduce our numbers so there are enough resources, including food, to go around. Minimising unintended pregnancies through universal access to contraception and safe abortion is an integral part of this.”

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