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UN Resolution Watered Down, Thanks to Administration’s Opposition to Sexual and Reproductive Health

According to UN diplomats and an internal State Department diplomatic cable reviewed by Foreign Policy, the Trump-Pence administration strong-armed the United Nations Security Council into watering down a measure aimed at supporting survivors of sexual assault and preventing rape as a weapon of war, threatening to veto it because it included the phrase sexual and reproductive health. First reported by PassBlue, the resolution passed last week after the language was stripped to appease the U.S. The Trump-Pence administration claimed that language on sexual and reproductive health normalizes sexual activity and condones abortion.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

I’ve treated women who were raped and infected with HIV as a weapon of war. I’ve tended to women who survived brutal sexual violence, who were tortured with clubs and bayonets and barely survived, only to develop fistulas and an inability to bear children.

“Denying sexual and reproductive health care puts survivors health and well-being at risk. Survivors of sexual violence in conflict have already undergone incredible trauma, and they need and deserve access to all health care services. This should have been a straightforward resolution to support survivors of sexual violence, yet this administration has once again put up barriers that prevent women from accessing the health care that they need. Planned Parenthood denounces this latest Trump-Pence administration decision to put politics before people’s health and lives.

The omitted lines would have affirmed the right for survivors of rape to access sexual and reproductive health care, including services such as emergency contraception, post-exposure prophylaxis, and safe, legal abortion. This latest obstruction by the Trump-Pence administration follows another round of recent attacks on reproductive rights, including the unprecedented expansion of the global gag rule and an attempt to push a regressive anti-reproductive health agenda at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.