‘US policies have restricted access to comprehensive and often lifesaving, reproductive healthcare.’
Anu Kumar and Patty Skuster, Ipas
15 October 2020
At this moment in US political history, Americans have a chance to rid the United States of its contradictory, confusing, and ideologically driven approach to reproductive health around the world.
The United States is the largest donor to global health and humanitarian assistance. But for decades it has been a case study in contradictions when it comes to aid and foreign policy, and in no area is this more evident than reproductive health and rights, particularly abortion.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
Imagine a world without the stigma surrounding abortion. Abortion would be recognized as health care. People would not be deprived of their right to make their own reproductive decisions. Abortion providers would not be isolated or face physical threats on their lives.
A world free of abortion stigma is the vision driving the work of the International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma (inroads), a network and global community of practice that grew out of a 2013 meeting on abortion stigma co-convened by Ipas and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). Inroads was launched following that meeting, with Ipas serving as its host and providing operational support. Today inroads is a network of scholars, advocates, health providers and donors representing 1,500 members and 105 countries.
by Anu Kumar and Serra Sippel
You’ve likely never heard of the Helms Amendment, or perhaps not until now that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), along with Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee(D-Texas), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.), have introduced legislation to repeal it. But our guess is you’ve heard of the late North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms.
In 1973, Helms, an outspoken opponent of civil rights — really, he opposed rights for anyone not white, male, heterosexual, American and Christian — introduced the Helms Amendment. The policy prohibits any U.S. foreign assistance funds from being used for “the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.” As written, the Helms Amendment allows for the provision of abortion information and counseling in cases of rape, incest and if a woman’s life is in danger. But in effect, it has been interpreted as a total ban on abortion-related services and information in developing countries.
Keeping women's health essential despite Covid-19 shortages
Opinion by Anu Kumar
Thu May 7, 2020
(Video: Fear, panic as women navigate pregnancy during a pandemic, 02:59)
(CNN)The world is changing daily as a result of Covid-19. Like millions of people, I now have a virtual workday. I am fortunate -- I'm safe and comfortable at home with my family in North Carolina.
Although living socially distanced and not knowing when life will return to normal is a struggle, I am comforted by the knowledge of the frontline workers I work with around the world working to alleviate some of the harm being inflicted on those living in dense and underserved communities.
Opinion: During COVID-19 crisis, lift barriers to reproductive health care — including abortion
By Anu Kumar
27 April 2020
As COVID-19 spreads worldwide, upending life as we know it, governments around the globe are facing massive challenges in containing the new coronavirus and protecting lives. But even in this time of crisis — in fact, especially in this time of crisis — pregnancy care, including abortion care, remains an essential health service.
Abortion is time-sensitive and cannot be significantly deferred without profound consequences for women and their families. While conservatives in the U.S. have pounced on the political “opportunity” that the coronavirus pandemic presents to advance their ideology, countries in the global south are struggling to meet all the needs of their citizens, including the need for safe abortion care.
Opinion: Time to put abortion top of the SRHR agenda
By Anu Kumar
09 December 2019
Just a couple of weeks ago, I attended the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which marked the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. The trip was particularly meaningful to me, having been at the Cairo meeting where 179 governments made women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights a priority goal of global development.
The anti-rights opposition movement called it “the abortion summit,” but in truth, it was far from it. In my opinion, that’s a shame, because we — the global health, sexual and reproductive health, and development fields — need an abortion summit.
Rwandan President Pardons Hundreds Convicted of Having or Assisting in an Abortion
By Tara Law
April 6, 2019
The President of Rwanda pardoned hundreds of people convicted of having or assisting in an abortion this week.
President Paul Kagame pardoned 367 people “convicted for the offenses of abortion, complicity in abortion and infanticide,” the Prime Minister’s cabinet announced on Thursday.
We stand with abortion rights advocates in the United States—and around the world
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
By Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO
Here in the United States, those of us committed to reproductive rights and justice have been fighting an uphill battle for decades—one that got even more intense in 2016 due to the presidential election. Even before the 2016 election, the gains made here have been threatened by constant attacks from the opposition that chip away at abortion access in the states.
But this weekend, we all shared in collective shock, sorrow and rage when the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, despite his track record of ignoring women’s rights and allegations that he had sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Displaced Rohingya women need access to abortion, not just food and shelter
Thousands of Rohingya women and girls have been systematically raped by Myanmar's military
Anu Kumar and Sandeep Prasad
for CBC News
Posted: Sep 29, 2018
Rape is still being used as an instrument of war. Right now. Before our very eyes.
We know that since August 2017, thousands of Rohingya women and girls have been systematically raped by Myanmar military as a way to humiliate, terrify and dominate the Rohingya communities. In fact, Canadian parliamentarians recently unanimously voted to declare the systemic rape and killing of Rohingya an act of genocide.
The future of abortion access in the United States
By Anu Kumar, President and CEO
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Well, now we know—President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Kennedy’s U.S. Supreme Court seat. When Justice Kennedy announced he’ll retire at the end of July, there was a collective panic attack on the part of thousands of us who work to protect reproductive rights.
Kennedy was seen as a centrist and a critical “swing vote” on the court. In the early 1990s and again in 2016, he voted to preserve Roe v. Wade. What’s burning in my mind and the minds of so many of my colleagues and compatriots is Trump’s vow to ensure the Court has another justice who’s against abortion rights.