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Sat Jul 25, 2015, 01:53 AM

 Women and Girls Raped in Conflict Need Abortion Care—but the US Is Standing in Their Way

http://www.thenation.com/article/women-and-girls-raped-in-conflict-need-abortion-care-but-the-us-is-standing-in-their-way/

In 1973, Jesse Helms, a newly elected United States senator and an ideologue contemptuous of the United Nations, dismissive of international treaties and completely devoid of compassion for the world’s poor, put his name on an amendment to the landmark 1961 United States foreign assistance act banning any use of US funds to support abortion in family planning globally. Over more than four decades, the Helms amendment has been reinterpreted, reinforced, and expanded in American aid policy to the point of rising to a violation of internationally recognized rights of women.

An international campaign is now urgently demanding that the United States put an end to this policy, saying that the Helms amendment defies the Geneva Conventions on the rules of war, which the US has pledged to uphold since the 1950s. The US is effectively violating the universally accepted nondiscriminatory healthcare provision in the conventions by forcing its prohibitions on abortion on medical aid work by others in conflict areas. In an age of unconventional warfare and terrorism, thousands of women suffer and die as a consequence of rape and other sexual abuses. Those who survive need a lot of help to repair their battered bodies—and sometimes that includes abortion.

On July 7 the Global Justice Center in New York, which advocates for the enforcement of international laws on human rights and gender equality, sent a letter to President Barack Obama on behalf of more than 50 international organizations asking for executive action to nullify the effects of the Helms amendment and honor the Geneva Conventions, which demand nondiscriminatory medical treatment in war zones.

“The US abortion ban is a major reason that female war rape victims around the world are being denied abortions in humanitarian medical facilities,” the letter said. “This is a matter of utmost urgency as recently demonstrated by the use of rape and forced impregnation by extremist groups such as ISIL and Boko Haram as tactics of warfare to further their ideological goals.”

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Reply  Women and Girls Raped in Conflict Need Abortion Care—but the US Is Standing in Their Way (Original post)
eridani Jul 2015 OP
nenagh Jul 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Jul 2015 #2

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 07:51 AM

1. "use of rape and forced impregnation by extremist groups such as ISIL and Boko Haram

as tactics of warfare to further their ideological goals"

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2015, 12:17 PM

2. From Planned Parenthood:

HELMS AMENDMENT HURTS WOMEN WORLDWIDE
The Helms Amendment has been restricting women’s access to much-needed health care for more than 40 years. It’s time for a change. Here’s why.

HISTORY OF THE HELMS AMENDMENT
When it got on the books: This policy was passed as an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 as part of a wave of anti-abortion backlash to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of the same year.

What it says: The amendment prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds for the performance of abortion “as a method of family planning.”

Its legacy: Since it was enacted, this harmful policy has restricted women in some of the poorest countries in the world from accessing vital, lifesaving health care they need.

Its Impact Today: This situation has been made even worse by the fact that U.S. global health programs are even more restrictive than what is required by law.

http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org

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