UN committee calls on US to address effects of Dobbs decision on racial and ethnic minorities
A United Nations committee on Tuesday called on the United States to take action to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in sexual and reproductive health care following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said in a statement that the Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which rolled back federal abortion protections, will disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities, expressing concern that these groups have higher maternal death rates, higher risk of unwanted pregnancies and lack of ways to overcome socio-economic barriers to access to safe abortions.
The committee said the ruling could have a particularly big impact on low-income people.
A Duke University study released in December found that non-Hispanic black maternal deaths would increase 33% if a comprehensive abortion ban were enacted nationwide, more than for any other racial group.
The NAACP criticized the court’s Dobbs ruling after it was released, saying it would disproportionately affect black women, who are three times more likely to die in pregnancy than white women.
The UN committee said the United States should adopt measures to address the “profound disparate impact” of the court’s ruling on racial and ethnic minorities, indigenous women and low-income people.
The committee’s recommendations came as part of a review of racial discrimination in seven countries, including Azerbaijan, Slovakia and the United States. is composed of 18 independent international experts.
The committee also expressed concern about excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and “continued impunity for abuses” by police and US Customs and Border Protection officials. He said the United States should review federal and state use-of-force legislation to ensure it complies with international standards and law.
He also said the country should create or strengthen watchdog groups to hold law enforcement officials accountable for inappropriate use of force.