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Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights, the Deadly Global Gag Rules Comes Home, and Women’s “Empowerment”

Trumping Women’s Rights Digest: Delivering a Global Lens on the Administration’s Fight Against Women’s Health

Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights

Reproductive health champions in the US House of Representatives and Senate have introduced the Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act, a bill that would require reporting on reproductive rights in the State Department Human Rights Reports. The reports are valuable tool for US diplomats and advocates to hold governments accountable for human rights violations.

Reproductive rights were suddenly removed from the reports last year, in keeping with the Trump administration’s attacks on women. The decision to eliminate this body of rights from State Department reporting means that heinous abuses against women and girls, such as the imprisonment of women in El Salvador for miscarriages, have been rendered invisible. It is expected that the reports will continue to omit critical abuses, such as the recent and tragic case of the 11-year-old girl who was raped by a 65-year-old man and denied an abortion in Argentina. If passed, the legislation would require annual reporting on the full spectrum of reproductive rights.

IWHC calls on Congress to pass the Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act.

Bringing the Deadly Global Gag Rule Home

The Trump administration recently announced dangerous new restrictions on Title X family planning programs. The policy, which amounts to a Domestic Gag Rule, prohibits federal funding to Title X providers that offer abortion services or referrals.

For the more than 4 million people who use Title X providers annually, the Domestic Gag Rule will severely limit access to health care, including contraception and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and reproductive cancers. These shifts will impact poor and marginalized women, who rely on Title X providers to access health care. The new restrictions mirror those of the Global Gag Rule, the deadly policy reinstated and expanded by the administration in its first week in office. Since the reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, IWHC has documented its impacts alongside grantee partners in Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and South Africa, revealing disastrous consequences for women and girls.

Read IWHC’s statement on the Domestic Gag Rule here.

The Missing Link in the Administration’s Empowerment Plan

The Trump administration recently announced the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), intended to economically empower women throughout the developing world. Unfortunately, this initiative completely fails to mention the foundation of women’s economic empowerment—the ability to make decisions about one’s own body and future.

Policies such as the expanded Global Gag Rule, defunding the United Nations Population Fund, promoting abstinence-only education, and championing protections for providers who deny reproductive health care have threatened the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights. If the administration is truly committed to empowering women, it should start by prioritizing women’s health and rights.

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The post Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights, the Deadly Global Gag Rules Comes Home, and Women’s “Empowerment” appeared first on International Women’s Health Coalition.