FIGO President Jeanne Conry condemns leaked US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs Wade

Following reports of the purported and unprecedented leak of the draft Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) opinion to overturn Roe vs Wade, FIGO President Dr Jeanne Conry speaks out against the potentially catastrophic impact of the decision.

The landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling has since allowed women in the USA to seek an abortion without excessive government restrictions. Recent news indicates that SCOTUS is likely to overturn the ruling. The final decision on this ruling is due in June 2022.

If made official, such a decision would have a catastrophic impact on a national and global scale, threatening the lives of women and girls every year. 

Restrictive laws do not have an impact on the number of abortions, rather, they simply increase the number of unsafe abortions. When women and girls are denied timely access to safe and effective abortion services, they are more likely to resort to unsafe means.

The reversal of Roe vs Wade would multiply the number of unsafe abortions in the US, resulting in a rise in wholly preventable deaths, disabilities, and harms to women, their families, and communities across the country.

– Dr Jeanne Conry, FIGO President

Access to safe abortion is a basic and non-negotiable human right. Abortion is a time sensitive, essential medical service that should be provided in accordance with women and girls’ preferences, and with safety, privacy and dignity at the forefront. It is an integral part of gender equality, reproductive justice and universal access to health care.

FIGO continues to call for the total decriminalisation of safe abortion, on behalf of both women and their health care providers. Abortion care must be treated like any other essential health issue in medicine, for which the standard of care is based on best practice guidelines, training and delivery.

– Ends –  

Notes to editors 

Related FIGO statements

FIGO’s global statement to decriminalise abortion:

All of FIGO's statements on safe abortion:

About the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 

FIGO is a professional membership organisation that brings together more than 130 obstetrical and gynaecological associations from all over the world. FIGO’s vision is that women of the world achieve the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives. Our work to achieve this vision is built on four pillars: education, research implementation, advocacy and capacity building. 

FIGO leads on global programme activities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and  South East Asia. We advocate on a global stage, especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and wellbeing, and non-communicable diseases (SDG3). We also work to raise the status of women and enable their active participation in achieving their reproductive and sexual rights, including through addressing  female-genital mutilation (FGM) and gender-based violence (SDG5). 

We also provide education and training for our Member Societies and build capacities of those in  low-resource countries through strengthening leadership, translating and disseminating good practice  and promoting policy dialogues. 

FIGO is in official relations with the World Health Organization and a consultative status with the United Nations. 

Statements and Press Square FIGO circle logo


Rachel Randles
Communications and Engagement Manager