Wars are being waged on women’s bodies. Nearly 50 women and girls are raped every hour in eastern Congo. In the Syrian conflict, women and girls face rape and violence aimed to control, intimidate and humiliate.
Across the world, survivors are often forced to carry unwanted pregnancies because they don’t have safe access to critical post-rape care, including abortion and other health services.
Women’s lives are being threatened. Women’s rights are being ignored.
Take action now.
"I plead for government of United States - a government that is respected and its policies replicated across the globe - to start investing its money to heal the mind, body and spirit of women who have been affected by conflict.”
- Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, Isis-WICCE, Uganda
Dear President Obama:
Throughout the world, rape is used as a weapon of war and torture. As a result of these attacks, women and girls who survive rape often face unwanted pregnancies. After surviving rape, their access to comprehensive post rape care – including safe, voluntary abortion services – is critical. However, misapplications of U.S. law – namely the Helms amendment – blocks care for these women and girls globally.
The Helms amendment is a decades-old provision that forbids the U.S. from paying for abortions as a method of family planning but does not prohibit U.S. foreign assistance for abortion in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.
Mr. President, we call on you to take executive action, such as an executive order, stating unequivocally that U.S. funds can be used to provide abortion services overseas in the cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. Poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans stand ready to support you in this effort.
Your commitment to ending gender-based violence is significant. We call on you then, Mr. President, to make clear to the world that U.S. foreign policy supports access to comprehensive care – including abortion – in the cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. While ultimately we want to see the Helms Amendment repealed, we call on your leadership to immediately remove these barriers to care for millions of women and girls globally. The world looks to you for leadership on the human rights of women and girls.