Abortion Providers Facing Threats, Restrictions, and Harassment
Every day, ordinary people put themselves on the line to make sure women are able to exercise their fundamental right to health, which includes access to reproductive health services. Significant efforts need to be made at the community level to educate not only policymakers, but also the public in order to reduce stigma around abortion and to increase recognition of abortion as a component of this fundamental right.
Urgent action is required to recognize abortion providers as human rights defenders, to protect their rights and to hold those who perpetrate violations accountable.
Here are a few things you can do to help to spread the word on this report and how to get involved directly:
Make sure abortion providers are recognized as human rights defenders! Contact your legislators and demand that they condemn the harassment, discrimination, legal restrictions, and stigma that abortion providers experience and to oppose any legislation restricting abortion services. Click here to take action!
Help us get the word out about this report! Click here to notify your friends and family about this important investigation.
The findings in this report make it all too clear that harassing legal and violent attacks on doctors who provide abortions and the clinics where they work is not over. The Center has been fighting on the ground and in the courts to make sure attacks like this do not continue to happen. Your gift today will support the Center’s groundbreaking work and help secure reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right. Click here to make a gift!
Report a Violation >,
Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act Have you been harassed, obstructed, threatened, or physically harmed by protestors at a reproductive health care facility? If so, you may wish to contact the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss ways in which the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a federal law that imposes criminal and civil penalties for such conduct, may be used to protect you. Click here to contact the Department of Justice. Write and send a communication about specific violations to the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders If you or someone you know has been harassed for providing safe, legal abortions, you can ask the United Nations to get involved. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders can ask the government to intervene to protect human rights defenders like abortion providers when she receives individual complaints. For more information on the Special Rapporteur and instructions on filing an allegation of violations against a human rights defender click here. Allegations must include at least the following information:
- Full name of the victim
- Explanation of the victim’s human rights work
- Description of the human rights violation suffered by the victim
- Information about the perpetrators of the human rights violation
- Description of whether the violation was reported to authorities and of any action taken
- Explanation of the connection between the violation and the victim’s human rights work
- Name, professional role, and contact information of the person submitting the complaint
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Women seeking abortions — and particularly those who are most vulnerable — will continue to confront a scarcity of abortion services and bear the brunt of legal restrictions. Below are a few ways that you can volunteer to make a difference today.
- Join Medical Students for Choice or Law Students for Reproductive Justice if you are a medical or law student.
- Start an undergraduate group or chapter with Choice USA.
- Invite a human rights speaker to your school for Women’s Human Rights Day (November 29th) or Human Rights Day (December 10th). Contact Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, Society for Women’s Health Research Speaker’s Bureau, Choice USA Speaker’s Bureau or Physicians for Human Rights. You can also contact Columbia Law School’s Bringing Human Rights Home Project: Caroline Bettinger-López, Deputy Director, Human Rights Institute, Lecturer in Law &, Clinical Staff Attorney, Human Rights Clinic Call (212) 854-8364 or email [email protected] Risa E. Kaufman, Executive Director, Human Rights Institute Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School Call (212) 854-0706 or email [email protected]
- Join with other advocates to document human rights violations experienced by abortion providers as human rights defenders and by women seeking reproductive health services. Contact Women’s Human Rights Defenders’ Campaign or your local office of the American Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women or NARAL for more information.
- Join with a local provider, group or chapter to educate the public and policymakers on access to reproductive healthcare as a human right and abortion as an integral part of women’s healthcare. Help support abortion providers to reduce stigma and increase safety at clinics. Here are a few organizations you can contact for more information: Planned Parenthood, National Abortion Federation, Feminist Majority Foundation, NARAL, The Abortion Care Network, The 30 Years is Enough Coalition, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative or the American Civil Liberties Union.