Anti-racism UN body calls on US to do more for abortion access

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GENEVA, Aug 30 (Reuters) – A UN committee on Tuesday condemned the reversal of the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, saying it hits racial and ethnic minorities the hardest and called on Washington to take mitigation measures.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has said it is “deeply concerned” that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June, which ended the nation’s right to abortion, has had “a disparate impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of racial and ethnic minorities, including low-income people.”

Pansy Tlakula, a member of the committee, said the 18-member committee asked Washington in consultations in Geneva this month to take specific steps to end criminal prosecutions of women and abortion service providers. .

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“There was a willingness from the United States to look at some of the issues that we raised with them,” she said at a press briefing, saying he had asked Washington to report on progress within a year.

The body also called for reparations for black Americans as part of a broader effort to address centuries of slavery and said Washington had been receptive to the idea, perhaps through d legislation or executive order.

US President Joe Biden has previously expressed support for the idea of ​​a study on reparations for descendants of slaves. Such measures have been used in the past to offset large moral and economic debts, for example to Japanese Americans interned during World War II, but polls suggest the idea is not very popular and could cost billions of dollars.

“It would have been impossible to have an honest and interactive dialogue with the United States without including the issue of restorative justice,” said President Verene Shepherd.

The White House did not immediately respond to comment on the findings.

The recommendations come from a team of 18 independent rights experts who examine the record of each of the 182 state parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination every few years. There are formal follow-up procedures but no sanctions for non-compliant states.

The committee also published findings on Azerbaijan, Benin, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Suriname and Zimbabwe.

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Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Ricci

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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