State Department removes reproductive rights indicators from annual country reporting
By Nancy Northup, opinion contributor
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.