US abortion policy is 'extremist hate' and 'torture', says UN commissioner

The US policy on abortion is a form of extremist hate that amounts to the torture of women, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights told the Guardian. The attack on women’s rights was a “crisis”, organised and well-resourced by very extremist groups.

“We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate, but this is gender-based violence against women, no question,” Kate Gilmore said.

“It’s clear it’s torture – it’s a deprivation of a right to health,” she warned, pointing out that the committee of experts assigned to monitor the implementation of the nine core UN human rights instruments have each “independently declared the absolute prohibition of abortion … is against human rights”.

Gilmore, appointed deputy high commissioner in 2015, said the banning of abortion in some US states and the attempts by the Trump administration to remove language from key international documents was “deeply distressing”.

“This is a crisis. It’s a crisis directed at women,” she said, warning that we had not yet felt the full extent of it.

Gilmore, who last week spoke at a Guardian event discussing the pushback on reproductive rights, said opposition groups – the most high profile of which are conservative, Christian organisations – were well organised and well resourced, and were ignoring evidence in their pursuit of ideological goals. “It’s an assault on truth, science and universal values and norms,” she said. Read more via the Guardian