(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights called on the State Department to issue complete reports after stripping reporting on women’s reproductive health and rights from its annual country reports on global human rights.
The State Department’s annual human rights reports document the human rights situation in countries around the world on a full range of issues such as the rights to free press, association, religion, fair trial, conditions of confinement, as well as freedom from discrimination on race, religion, gender and other grounds.
Said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“It’s unacceptable that the ‘Reproductive Rights’ section has disappeared from every single country report, indicating a clear disregard for women’s rights and protections worldwide.
“Women’s access to reproductive healthcare and ability to make important decisions about their health and lives are established under international human rights law and should be monitored by the U.S. government along with other rights issues.
“Human rights are not spoils in a political contest. They are universal and indivisible. The Center for Reproductive Rights calls on the State Department to issue new reports that restore the monitoring of the full range of women’s human rights.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights has been instrumental in ensuring that previous reports recognized reproductive rights issues, as well as in providing research on the impact of laws restricting access to reproductive health care around the world. The new reports eliminate passages from previous reports explicitly recognizing that individuals “have the right to decide the number, spacing, and timing of their children, manage their reproductive health and have access to the information and means to do so.” There also are no mentions of the availability of contraception, rates of maternal mortality, or restrictions on safe and legal abortion.