UN Committee On Disabilities Supports Abortion On Disabled Children

Rebecca Oas

Last week, two UN committees monitoring compliance with human rights treaties issued a joint statement declaring that access to “safe and legal abortion” is not only essential to women’s health, but also a “prerequisite for safeguarding women’s human rights” more generally.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) monitor compliance with their respective human rights treaties by nations who have ratified them. Neither treaty, nor any other global human rights treaty, mentions abortion explicitly, but for decades, treaty monitoring bodies have exerted nonbinding pressure on UN member states to liberalize their abortion laws.

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