New legislation important step in securing a just and healthy life for women and girls worldwide
April 22, 2010—The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) today lauded the introduction of the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010 in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11).
“The United States has achieved remarkable successes in its international family planning and reproductive health program, and this bill would extend its leadership role on global sexual and reproductive health issues,” said Rep. Clarke in a written statement. “By revising existing legislation to meet current international standards, we can establish an integrated, progressive model for delivering more efficient and effective sexual and reproductive health services across the globe.”
The United States is the top donor in sexual and reproductive health. The Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010 would further strengthen U.S. foreign assistance and our global leadership in health. For example, the Act would support combining family planning services with testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and with maternal health care. It also would promote linkages between sexual and reproductive health services, child health, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. The Act would also seek to reduce unsafe abortion, which accounts for 13% of maternal deaths worldwide, by ensuring access to contraception and safe abortion services where permitted by local law.
“Access to contraception and safe abortion services is fundamental to a woman’s ability to exercise her rights to control her body, to self-determination, and to maintain her health,” said Adrienne Germain, President, International Women’s Health Coalition. “In the 21st century no woman should die or suffer the traumas of an unsafe or illegal abortion.”
“Providing the full menu of services that women and young people need is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Germain.