WASHINGTON, DC — Ahead of International Women’s Day, Planned Parenthood stands with women around the world, and powerful allies of reproductive health and human rights to affirm that reproductive rights are human rights. Today, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA-5) and Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) were joined alongside Reps. Lowey (D-NY-17), Engel (D-NY-16), Lee (D-CA-13), and Frankel (D-FL-21) and Sens. Shaheen (D-NH) and Blumenthal (D-CT) to introduce the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act. The bill requires the State Department to include reproductive rights in its annual human rights reports. Nearly a year ago, the State Department released its annual 2017 human rights reports, completely erasing the reproductive rights section in each country’s report and replacing it with a narrowly focused section on “coercion in population control.” Language on gender-based violence was also significantly scaled back. The bill has broad bicameral support with 127 cosponsors in House and 31 in the Senate.
Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
International Women’s Day is a day to stand with women everywhere and defend their right to access health care. Reproductive health care is health care, and health care is a fundamental human right. Every person has the right to make decisions about their own body, and violations of those human rights must be included in any credible assessment. By censoring reproductive rights from the State Department’s human rights reports, the Trump-Pence administration is erasing the experiences of women around the world and the families and communities that depend on them. We applaud Rep. Clark, Sen. Menendez, and other champions of reproductive rights for recognizing that women around the world deserve access to comprehensive health care – including reproductive health care – to lead healthy, successful lives.
The State Department’s actions to erase reproductive rights around the world align with broader attacks from the Trump-Pence administration on reproductive health and human rights in the U.S. Most recently in late February, the administration released a domestic gag rule on Title X, intended to dismantle the nation’s birth control and reproductive health program. Title X health centers serve more than 4 million patients, so the administration’s efforts pose unnecessary harm and risk the health and lives of millions across the country. Since day one, the Trump-Pence administration has aggressively targeted the health, rights, and bodily autonomy of people of color, people with low incomes, and women in the U.S. and around the world.
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.