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WASHINGTON, DC — Today, on Human Rights Day, Planned Parenthood praises the introduction of a bill by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass. that will require the State Department to include reproductive rights in its annual human rights reports. The bill is introduced with original co-sponsors Reps. Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Barbara Lee, and Lois Frankel. In April, the State Department released its annual 2017 human rights report, erasing mentions of human rights abuses related to reproductive health. In each country’s report, the section on “reproductive rights” was replaced with “coercion in population control,” and language on gender-based violence was significantly scaled back.

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

Reproductive health care is health care, and health care is a basic human right. The Trump-Pence administration’s erasure of reproductive rights from the State Department’s human rights report is an attack on women around the world, and the communities that depend on them. We applaud Rep. Clark and other champions of reproductive rights for recognizing that women around the world deserve access to comprehensive health care, which includes reproductive health care, and rely on it to lead healthy, successful lives. We are grateful to have leaders in Congress who stand up for the basic notion that reproductive rights are human rights.

Statement from Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global:

Whether it’s the censorship of reproductive rights, abstinence-only education, or the global gag rule, the Trump-Pence administration has made clear, they really don’t want us to talk about anything having to do with sex. But we have seen firsthand around the world that silence on sexual and reproductive health translates to lack of access and the dismantling of health systems for women, sexual assault survivors, refugees, LGBTQ individuals and other groups who face systemic barriers to the health care they need. Today, on Human Rights Day, we won’t be silent. And we thank Rep. Clark and our members of Congress for taking real action to protect human rights.

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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.

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