Administration

Blinken: State Department ‘fully committed’ to reproductive health in wake of Roe

FILE – Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing, April 26, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Al Drago/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a rare statement commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion, committing to protecting reproductive health services for State Department staff and others around the world. 

Blinken issued his statement late Friday evening while in Europe attending summits on global food security prior to joining President Biden for meetings with the Group of 7 (G-7) nations on Saturday.

The secretary said in his statement that he usually avoids commenting on Supreme Court rulings, but the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has “raised understandable questions and concerns across the world and within our workforce.”

“So let me be clear: under this Administration, the State Department will remain fully committed to helping provide access to reproductive health services and advancing reproductive rights around the world. And this Department will do everything possible to ensure that all our employees have access to reproductive health services, wherever they live,” he said in the statement. 

The Supreme Court’s announcement on Friday to overturn the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade, which constitutionally guaranteed a woman’s right to access abortion, sparked an outpouring of emotion from supporters and detractors in the U.S. and across the globe.

Biden said the court was leading the country down an “extreme” path and said he would protect access to FDA-approved contraception and medication to end early pregnancies, as well as protect women who will travel across state lines to access abortion services.

U.S. allies abroad also reacted with shock at the ruling, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the court’s decision “a big step backward” and that it “will have an impact on people’s thinking around the world.” 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the overturning of Roe “horrific” and French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that “abortion is a fundamental right for all women.” 

The U.K., Canada and France are part of the G-7, which also includes Germany, Japan and Italy. 

Tags Antony Blinken Biden Boris Johnson Emmanuel Macron Justin Trudeau
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