The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) celebrates the election of former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris—the first woman to the executive branch. We are eager to work with the Biden administration to ensure that US foreign policies respect the right of all people to make decisions about their own health and lives.
“The incoming Biden administration presents an opportunity to reverse the harms of the Trump administration and advance a bold, new agenda for gender justice worldwide,” said Shannon Kowalski, director of advocacy and policy at IWHC. “The Blueprint for Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice outlines the decisive actions needed from decriminalizing self-managed abortion to eliminating the Global Gag Rule. We urge President-elect Biden to wield the powers of the government in pursuit of this groundbreaking agenda beginning on day one.”
On the global stage, there is an urgent need to mitigate the damages of Trump administration policies and reestablish the United States as a leader for human rights and global health. For four years, the Trump administration promoted a regressive agenda that explicitly discriminated against women, girls, and LGBTQI people. President-elect Biden must make it a priority to constructively reengage on the global stage. In particular, IWHC would expect a Biden administration to immediately recommit to international human rights agreements, reenter the Paris Agreement, and reinstate funding to the United Nations Population Fund.
But it is not enough to simply revert to the pre-Trump status quo, which did not work for many women, girls, and marginalized people. The incoming Biden administration must be prepared to exert its power in pursuit of a proactive and progressive agenda for sexual and reproductive health and rights as articulated by the Blueprint for Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice—an agenda developed by a coalition of 90 organizations, including IWHC. If implemented, the Blueprint will eliminate discriminatory barriers like religious refusals, the domestic and global gag rules, and the Helms Amendment, ensure the full range of sexual and reproductive health care—including abortion—is available to all, and increase investments in sexual and reproductive health and data to strengthen health care delivery and quality. The administration’s commitment to sexual and reproductive health and gender justice must also include reform of US policies on immigration, climate, and criminal justice, recognizing their outsized impact on the health and lives of people of color, people in low-income communities, and those historically marginalized.
As we have done for more than three decades, the International Women’s Health Coalition, in partnership with diverse coalitions of feminists and allies, will advocate for a progressive and intersectional agenda that increases access to health care, upholds human rights, and advances gender justice for people worldwide.
In the years ahead, we will hold President Biden accountable. IWHC will never stop advocating to ensure that all people can enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights free of violence or discrimination.
Contact: Liza Kane-Hartnett
email@example.com; (+1) 917.498.3346
Photo: Gage Skidmore