WASHINGTON — Today, Reps. Clark (D-MA-5), Meeks (D-NY-5), Lee (D-CA-13), Meng (D-NY-6), Frankel (D-FL-21), Torres (D-CA-35), and Jacobs (D-CA-53) and Sens. Menendez (D-NJ), Shaheen (D-NH), Blumenthal (D-CT), and Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act in the U.S. House and Senate. This critical legislation requires the U.S. State Department to include reproductive rights in its annual human rights reports.
During the last four years, the State Department was weaponized to limit access to sexual and reproductive health care abroad, and erasing reproductive rights from its country reports on human rights was part of this dangerous effort. Thankfully, under the Biden-Harris administration, Secretary of State Blinken recently said the State Department will again begin to monitor global access to sexual and reproductive health care and rights. While this is an important step forward, the Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act is still critical to ensure that the human rights reports include accurate and comprehensive information on reproductive health access and coercion — no matter who leads the department in the future.
Statement from Caitlin Horrigan, director of global advocacy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights — full stop. Everyone deserves access to comprehensive health care, no matter who they are or where they live. The State Department cannot ever be allowed to censor their reports and ignore reproductive rights. Planned Parenthood is committed to promoting and expanding sexual and reproductive rights in the U.S. and around the globe. We applaud Rep. Clark, Sen. Menendez, and other health care champions in Congress for reaffirming that reproductive rights are human rights and ensuring that is reflected in annual State Department reports. Congress must swiftly pass the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act into law.
Along with ensuring that sexual and reproductive health and rights are properly monitored abroad, Congress must work to ensure that care is accessible to all. The Global HER Act would permanently end the global gag rule and protect access to sexual and reproductive health care across the globe.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all 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, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.
For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Global has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 9 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 provided over 1.8 million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services. 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. Planned Parenthood Global is the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.