Pro-choice protesters hold signs outside the Texas State Capitol
Pro-choice protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Sergio Flores For The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • United Nations experts said Texas' new abortion law is discriminatory.
  • One said it is "structural sex and gender-based discrimination at its worst."
  • Another said the Supreme Court chose "to trample on the protection of women's reproductive rights."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

United Nations experts have condemned Texas' widely criticized new abortion law.

The law, which came into effect last week, bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy – a time when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant – with no exceptions for rape or incest. It's also enforced by private citizens, who can sue the abortion provider or anyone who helps someone get an abortion and be awarded at least $10,000.

The Supreme Court refused to block the law in a 5-4 ruling last week.

Melissa Upreti, the chair of the UN's working group on discrimination against women and girls, told The Guardian that the law was "structural sex and gender-based discrimination at its worst."

She said the new law will harm women's health.

"This new law will make abortion unsafe and deadly, and create a whole new set of risks for women and girls. It is profoundly discriminatory and violates a number of rights guaranteed under international law."

She said: "The law and the way it came about – through the refusal of the US supreme court to block it based on existing legal precedent – has not only taken Texas backward, but in the eyes of the international community, it has taken the entire country backward."

Reem Alsalem, the UN's independent monitor on violence against women, also criticized the law.

"Through this decision the supreme court of the United States has chosen to trample on the protection of women's reproductive rights, thereby exposing them and abortion providers to more violence," she told The Guardian.

President Joe Biden has also criticized the abortion law, saying the "extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century." Attorney General Merrick Garland promised the Justice Department would protect abortion seekers in the state.

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