United States Goes Before U.N. Human Rights Committee
Geneva – Today, the Centre pour les droits reproductifs urged the United States to uphold the legal pledge it made under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an international human rights treaty established in 1966 by members of the United Nations. The Center called on the United States to take action to protect the lives of women everywhere by guaranteeing full access to santé reproductive services, instead of imposing barriers.
The demands of the Centre pour les droits reproductifs come as the United Nations Human Rights Committee is set to review U.S. compliance with the ICCPR this week in Geneva. A delegation from the Center arrived in Switzerland today to monitor the two-day session and the U.S. response to its “shadow report,” which outlines numerous U.S. violations of the ICCPR in the area of droits reproductifs.
“The U.S. government has broken its promise to protect women’s droits reproductifs. Now is the time for the U.S. to take the lead in guaranteeing droits reproductifs by adopting policies and enacting laws that help rather than harm women,” said Nancy Northup, President of the Centre pour les droits reproductifs.
Over the past year, a team of lawyers from the Center analyzed U.S. policies and statistics on la santé reproductive and discovered the following:
* Constitutional protections for women’s health are in jeopardy. Congress and state legislatures have deliberately passed laws that endanger women’s health and disregard their constitutional rights by restricting or prohibiting avortement even when deemed medically necessary. Such laws include the first-ever federal avortement ban outlawing some of the safest procedures as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy.
* The U.S. government promotes deceptive information about la santé reproductive and denies men and women the facts they need to make responsible decisions about sex and contraception. For example, the U.S. funds campaigns to replace comprehensive éducation sexuelle with “abstinence-only-until marriage” programs that distort and suppress information about contraception, while promoting harmful gender stereotypes.
* Federal and state health policies result in wide and tragic racial disparities in la santé reproductive: 41% of Latinas lack any health insurance, African-American women are more than four times more likely than whites to die in childbirth, and rates of infant mortality among African-American infants are higher than in 50 other countries.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee has asked the U.S. to address issues raised in the Center’s report, including the federal government’s global promotion of deceptive and restrictive information about la santé reproductive. On July 28, the Committee is expected to issue recommendations to the U.S., which the Center will comment on that same day.
* Read the Center’s full report > >