The head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom said on Wednesday that access to safe abortion saves lives.
His remarks follow a leaked draft ruling indicating the US Supreme Court was considering ending access to legal abortions nationwide.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “restricting access to abortion does not reduce the number of procedures”.
“It drives women and girls towards unsafe ones,” he said in a tweet. “Access to safe abortion saves lives.”
Women should always have the right to choose when it comes to their bodies and their health. Restricting access to #abortion does not reduce the number of procedures — it drives women and girls towards unsafe ones. Access to safe abortion saves lives. https://t.co/SdF81B5D1u
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) May 4, 2022
If the draft ruling is confirmed by the court, it would overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which granted women the right to abortion across the country.
According to WHO, about 25 million unsafe abortions are conducted around the world annually, with about 39,000 women and girls dying, as a result, each year and millions more admitted to hospital due to complications.
Most of the deaths happen in lower-income countries, with Africa accounting for a full 60 percent and Asia for 30 percent, data show.