New Year, New Reproductive Health Policy?

Trumping Women’s Rights Digest: Delivering a Global Lens on the Administration’s Fight Against Women’s Health

US House of Representatives Moves to Protect Reproductive Rights

Just hours after the inauguration of the 116th Congress, House Democrats passed a bill to end the government shutdown that would also repeal the Global Gag Rule and restore funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The bill is a strong signal that the new House will prioritize sexual and reproductive rights, despite the fact that it is unlikely to become law. Although the bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee before the new year, it would need to be passed by the newly inaugurated Senate and signed by President Trump to become law—neither of which is likely.

The House bill borrowed language from the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act, a bill intended to permanently repeal the dangerous and unethical Global Gag Rule, which IWHC has played a significant role in championing since its introduction in 2017.

US Blocks Human Rights Investigations

In another blow to human rights, the US has quietly stopped cooperating with UN investigators on potential human rights violations within the United States. Since May 2018, at least 13 requests from UN investigators, including those related to family separation at the border and anti-LGBTQI bias, have gone unanswered by the Trump-Pence administration. UN human rights investigators routinely visit countries to assess potential human rights violations.

By ending their cooperation, the administration has, again, signaled its total disregard for human rights and provided cover to other countries that may seek to shut out UN investigators.

This move is just the latest of the administration’s acts to undermine accountability for human rights at the UN. In 2018, the administration withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council and sought to penalize UN agencies that advance the human rights of women, girls, and other marginalized groups by restricting funding.

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Photo: House Creative Services.

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