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UN says reproductive rights are ‘foundation’ of gender equality

Marlena Sloss for The Washington Post via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres believes that women’s rights are vital to gender equality worldwide, a spokesman for Guterres said in response to a question about a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade.

“The Secretary‑General has long believed that sexual and reproductive health and rights are the foundation for lives of choice, empowerment and equality for the world’s women and girls,” said Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the secretary-general.

Haq continued, “Without the full participation of 50% of its population, the world would be the biggest loser.”

The spokesman declined to comment specifically on the leaked document and the court’s upcoming decision.

The court document, obtained by Politico, shows the court’s conservative majority ready to overturn the 1973 abortion rights precedent from Roe v. Wade via a case the court is currently hearing, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The court heard the case last year and is expected to rule on it by the end of June.

“[Guterres] has repeatedly pointed to what he has said is a global push‑back that we’re seeing on women’s rights, including reproductive rights and essential health services, and he believes it’s essential to keep pursuing women’s rights,” Haq said.

Across the country, protests erupted in several cities over the leaked document, with both sides of the reproductive health debate taking to the streets in response to the news.

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