Someone Tell the State Department that Reproductive Rights are Human Rights
Last year, the Trump-Pence administration removed information on reproductive health and rights from the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports, effectively communicating that reproductive rights are not human rights. Stephanie Schmid with the Center for Reproductive Rights talks to us about the removal of reproductive health and rights information from the annual Human Rights Reports and what that means for SRHR around the world.
The Human Rights Reports are annual, Congressionally-required reports on human rights practices in approximately 200 UN-member countries as well as countries that receive U.S. foreign assistance around the world. They have been around for almost 50 years, and have reported on reproductive rights since the 1990’s. The reports are used by every branch of the U.S. government.
Since 2011, there has been a separate reproductive rights sub-section of the Human Rights Reports, which was entirely deleted last year by the Trump administration. In Oxfam’s Sins of Omission report, it was concluded that there was a 20% reduction in the reporting on gender-based and sexual violence and a 30% reduction on reporting on LGBTQ rights around the world. Even if the deletion of the sub-section were to be immediately reversed, this has drastically impacted the ability for State Department officials in other countries to collect the reproductive rights data and information we need.
Reproductive rights will not be in this year’s Human Rights Reports, either.
It isn’t all bad news, though! On March 8th, 2019, 158 members of Congress introduced the Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act. This bill would reinstate information on reproductive health and rights in the State Department’s annual reports.
Links from this episode
Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Reproductive Rights on Facebook
Center for Reproductive Rights on Twitter
Oxfam Sins of Omission Report
Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act in the House
Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act in the Senate
Hillary Clinton’s Tweet Thread on the Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act