USA – Hundreds of Lawmakers and Organizations Demand State Dept. Stop Excluding Women’s Rights From Human Rights Reports

Hundreds of Lawmakers and Organizations Demand State Dept. Stop Excluding Women's Rights From Human Rights Reports
Nearly 100 civil society organizations, 129 members of Congress sent letters to Secretary of State Pompeo this week

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer, Common Dreams
Friday, October 05, 2018

Trump's State Department this week is facing backlash and calls to reverse course on its decision to omit from its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices the entire reproductive rights section and to weaken its reporting on gender-based violence—a decision critics said amounted to showing that women and girls' "rights don't matter" to the current administration.

With their eyes on preventing the upcoming 2018 reports from containing the same "highly problematic" omissions as the 2017 ones, nearly 100 civil society organizations (pdf) and 129 members of Congress (pdf) sent letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding the inclusion of information on denials of these fundamental human rights, including lack of access to contraception, unsafe abortion, and violence in accessing healthcare services.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/10/05/hundreds-lawmakers-and-organizations-demand-state-dept-stop-excluding-womens-rights

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USA – Center for Reproductive Rights Statement on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court

Center for Reproductive Rights Statement on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court

07.09.18 - (PRESS RELEASE) Said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“President Trump has vowed to nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court only justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. In addition to this litmus test, he has also said women who have abortions should be punished. Today, with the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, the President is presumably making good on his Roe-reversal promise. Every Senator should assume that is the case, absent a clear and compelling statement from the nominee that he agrees with the rationale and premise of Roe v. Wade—that the right to abortion is among the Constitution’s guaranteed personal liberty rights.

“In the past twelve years that Judge Kavanaugh has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he has ruled in one case involving women’s access to abortion.

https://www.reproductiverights.org/press-room/center-for-reproductive-rights-statement-on-judge-brett-kavanaugh%E2%80%99s-nomination-to-us-supr

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USA – Roe isn’t just about women’s rights. It’s about everyone’s personal liberty.

Roe isn’t just about women’s rights. It’s about everyone’s personal liberty.

by Nancy Northup July 8, 2018
The writer is president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

On Monday, President Trump is expected to announce his nominee to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Given the president’s promise to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s widely understood that his nominee will pose a clear danger to women’s reproductive rights. What most don’t realize is that everyone’s personal-liberty rights are on the line.

The constitutional framework of Roe is about far more than abortion. It’s about rearing our children without unwarranted government interference. It’s about choosing whom we want to marry. It’s about deciding with whom we want to create a home. It’s about the right to use contraception. It’s about what the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey explained is the “promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.”

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/roe-isnt-just-about-womens-rights-its-about-everyones-personal-liberty/2018/07/08/527d8548-8160-11e8-b658-4f4d2a1aeef1_story.html?utm_term=.75815dc9eed1

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What Will Happen If Abortion Is Banned In The U.S.? Just Look At These Countries.

What Will Happen If Abortion Is Banned In The U.S.? Just Look At These Countries.

Andrea González-Ramírez
July 3, 2018

"We use the phrase in Latin America," Paula Avila-Guillen, a human rights expert and director of Latin America Initiatives for the Women’s Equality Center told Refinery29, "'Las ricas abortan, las pobres mueren.' [Rich women have abortions, poor women die.]"

Many anti-abortion advocates believe that outlawing the procedure will stop women from trying to terminate their pregnancies, but research has shown over and over again that this isn't true.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/2018/07/203412/abortion-illegal-impact-latin-america-united-states

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USA – Bulwark Against an Abortion Ban? Medical Advances

Bulwark Against an Abortion Ban? Medical Advances

By Pam Belluck and Jan Hoffman
July 1, 2018

As partisans on both sides of the abortion divide contemplate a Supreme Court with two Trump appointees, one thing is certain: America even without legal abortion would be very different from America before abortion was legal.

The moment Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement, speculation swirled that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion, would be overturned. Most legal experts say that day is years away, if it arrives at all. A more likely scenario, they predict, is that a rightward-shifting court would uphold efforts to restrict abortion, which would encourage some states to further limit access.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/science/abortion-supreme-court-trump.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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USA – Justice Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, announces his retirement

Justice Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote on the Supreme Court, announces his retirement
What Justice Kennedy's retirement means for the Supreme Court

by Robert Barnes June 27, 2018

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the Supreme Court, a move that will give President Trump a chance to replace the pivotal justice and solidify a more conservative majority on the court that plays a crucial role in American life.

“It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years on the Supreme Court,” Kennedy, 81, said in a statement released in the afternoon of the last day of the term. He said his final day will be July 31.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/justice-kennedy-the-pivotal-swing-vote-on-the-supreme-court-announces-retirement/2018/06/27/a40a8c64-5932-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.2e7c4ab3a380

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USA – State Department removes reproductive rights indicators from annual country reporting

State Department removes reproductive rights indicators from annual country reporting

By Nancy Northup, opinion contributor
04/26/18

Last Friday’s release of the U.S. Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has a gaping hole: the “Reproductive Rights” section has disappeared. This section was previously included for each one of the 195 countries covered by this comprehensive assessment of the state of human rights around the world With his confirmation now settled, Secretary of State Pompeo should understand — and reverse — his predecessor’s dramatic about-face in U.S. efforts to protect the rights of women.

The country reports form a critical body of evidence for capturing human rights conditions. They provide narrative evidence of compliance with human rights norms — an established part of international law — incorporating rights to free press, association, religion, fair trials and conditions of confinement, as well freedom from racial, ethnic and gender-based discrimination.

Continued: http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/385077-state-department-removes-reproductive-rights-indicators-from-annual

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‘Immoral sentence’: Salvadoran woman jailed for stillbirth set free after 14 years

'Immoral sentence': Salvadoran woman jailed for stillbirth set free after 14 years
Supreme court commutes Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín’s 30-year sentence for murder, calling it immoral and excessive

Liz Ford
Tue 13 Mar 2018

A woman convicted of aggravated murder in El Salvador after suffering a stillbirth has been freed from prison, the second such release in the space of a month.

Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín, 34, had her sentence commuted by the ministry of justice and was released on Tuesday after serving almost 15 years of a 30-year sentence.

The court said it considered the sentence to be excessive and immoral.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/mar/13/el-salvador-woman-jailed-stillbirth-set-free-maira-veronica-figueroa-marroquin

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World

The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE

By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018

Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-global-gag-rule-is-harming-women-around-the-world-exclusive-8245633

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U.S.: Congressional health-care bill ‘defunds’ Planned Parenthood

Congressional health-care bill ‘defunds’ Planned Parenthood

By Sandhya Somashekhar and Paige W. Cunningham
May 4, 2017

The health-care bill passed by the House brought Republicans closer to their goal of erasing Obamacare from the books. But it also revived another long-
cherished aspiration: cutting off the flow of federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

A provision in the bill temporarily blocks the 100-year-old nonprofit women’s health organization and abortion provider from participating in the Medicaid program. If enacted, it would deal a devastating blow to an organization that provides reproductive services and other health care to 2.5 million people annually.

Continued at source: Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/congressional-health-care-bill-defunds-planned-parenthood/2017/05/04/afdc3b5a-30f1-11e7-8674-437ddb6e813e_story.html

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