On the evening of July 28, the House of Representatives adopted a State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 that includes a multitude of funding and policy provisions that would be tremendous advancements for global sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) if enacted into law.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) re-introduced the Support UNFPA Funding Act, which reaffirms the United States’ commitment to the United Nations Population Fund and gender equality around the world and authorizes an annual contribution to the UNFPA for five years when passed. With commitments from the Biden administration and previous bipartisan support from Senators Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Collins (R-Maine), not only can the act pass the House of Representatives—it is likely to have a companion bill pass the Senate as well.
“State Department reporting on violations of reproductive rights should not be subject to whiplash between the policies of the occupants of the White House. Congress has an important role to ensure that the U.S. is consistently and unbiasedly reporting on the rights violations that impact women around the world, without political interference.”
Katherine Clark’s Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act would require the State Department include reporting on contraception and abortion access, STD rates and prevention efforts, maternal health, and rates and causes of pregnancy-related injuries and death, including unsafe abortions.
“The time has come,” Representative Jan Schakowsky, who re-introduced the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, said. “Abortion is health care and the Helms Amendment now has got to go.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) has reintroduced landmark legislation to repeal the Helms Amendment. As the president of Catholics for Choice, I am urging President Biden to center his Catholic upbringing and support this bill.
“UNFPA’s work is essential to the health and well-being of women around the world and directly supports the safety and prosperity of communities around the globe, especially in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
In this week’s edition we’re bringing you the most up-to-date information on the new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus, a look at the challenges to vaccine distribution, and as always, a rundown of the current wins and losses in the battle to protect reproductive rights.
The Biden administration must reassert the U.S.’s leadership position as a human rights defender, reject harmful domestic and foreign policies, such as the Hyde, Helms Amendment and the global gag rule, and champion support for their permanent repeal.
On the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade—a 7-2 Supreme Court decision that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion—feminists across the nation are celebrating the major victory and progress that’s been made since, while acknowledging the long road ahead towards securing universal reproductive freedom.
In the midst of an uncontrolled pandemic, instead of focusing on policies to prevent death and disease, the Trump administration is pushing forward with its dangerous expansion of the global gag rule (GGR), which is a threat to health in so many countries.
We have a long way to go to ensure that the U.S. regains its position as a leader in global health.