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Legislators Need to Ensure Access to Safe, Legal Abortion Care for All

I had an abortion in the US state of Illinois as a young woman. I had support from friends and family, and I was able to access timely, compassionate care from a clinic 20 minutes from my home. I was treated with dignity and respect. It was the kind…
 People rally downtown for the Second Annual Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
News

Secretary of State Blinken Recognizes Human Rights as Co-Equal and Interdependent

Today, the US State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights. While this year’s edition once again lacks reporting on key reproductive rights around the world, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that addendums will be…
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the State Department in Washington, standing in front of a world map and a US flag.
News

New Federal Bill Focuses on Women of Color

Cervical cancer is a disease no one should die from. It’s highly preventable and treatable, and if caught early, the five-year survival rate is over 90 percent. Unfortunately, over 4,000 women in the United States die from the disease each year, and…
Ms. Frances Ford, executive director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, in her home in August 2018, holding a picture of her mother, who died from cervical cancer after being diagnosed in 1980.
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Allegations Against NY Governor Cuomo Highlight Need for Real Protections

The sexual harassment accusations against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo are mounting as women turn to the media — on Twitter, in a personal essay, and in high-profile interviews with national news outlets — to detail their allegations against…
Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development adviser for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaks in front of microphones and a crowd of people holding signs at a rally in New York City, March 20, 2021. 
News

Abortion Restrictions Defeated; Paid Family Leave, Mandatory Sex Education Adopted

With all eyes seemingly on the US presidential election, it’s easy to miss some of the exciting progress made on gender equality at the state level. Colorado voters had two big initiatives on their ballot, one to expand paid family and medical…
Boxes of vote-by-mail ballot envelopes are shown at the King County election headquarters in Renton, Washington, October 23, 2020. 
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Young People Have Right to Safe, Accessible Abortion Care

Two days after the United States Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have limited access to abortion, a harmful new abortion restriction is going into effect in Florida. The law requires anyone under 18 to get consent from a parent or…
Opponents of Florida's "parental consent" bill gather for a press conference at the Capitol in Tallahasee, January 22, 2020. 
News

In US State Known for Wilderness, Policy Hits Rural Women Hardest

  Imagine taking a snowmobile, two flights, and a bus to get to one of four clinics offering abortion in your state – the distance equivalent of traveling from New York City to Chicago. For the one-third of Alaska’s women and girls living in…
Hundreds of people march in downtown Sitka, Alaska, during the women's march, held in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.
News

Abortion Access an Essential Component of Health Care

Officials in the US states of Ohio and Texas are using the coronavirus as a politically expedient excuse to halt abortions – a move that threatens women’s and girls’ health and rights. On March 20, the Ohio Attorney General’s office reportedly…
An activist seen holding a placard that reads, "protect safe, legal abortion" during a Stop the Bans rally in Dayton, Ohio, May 19, 2019.
News

Bill Disregards Medical Science, Threatens Health

When I flew to Honduras this year to report on the country’s total abortion ban – including in cases of rape – I couldn’t imagine that lawmakers in my home state of Ohio would propose a ban that is arguably even more extreme. …
Protesters gather to participate in a Women's March highlighting demands for equal rights and equality for women, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
News

Marshae Jones Charged for Being Shot and Losing Fetus

When I predicted that the extreme abortion law just passed in the US state of Alabama would be used to punish women, I was told that I should read the law more closely because it has a specific article that says it will punish…
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News

Criminalizing Abortion Puts Women and Girls’ Health at Serious Risk

Update: On May 15, Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act   Late last night, the Alabama Senate passed a draconian abortion law criminalizing abortion and attempted abortion…
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News

Abortion Bills in Five States Threaten Reproductive Rights

It’s open season on reproductive rights in the United States. Again. Five different US states this week moved anti-abortion bills up the legislative food chain, in what seems to be yet another attack on women’s reproductive…
People rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court while the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra case remained pending, in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2018.
News

Trump Administration Removes Data on Global Reproductive Rights

Once again, the Trump administration has cut most mentions of key human rights abuses that disproportionately impact women and girls around the world from the US State Department’s annual human rights reports. In the reports…
Then-Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2018. © 2018 Reuters
News

Lawmakers Seek to Reverse “Global Gag Rule” on Abortion Information

United States lawmakers – including many female legislators elected in the recent mid-term elections – are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s attacks on the reproductive rights of women outside the US. Today,…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Rights of Alabama Women are at Risk

President Donald Trump has said he plans to announce his nominee for the US Supreme Court by July 9, not two weeks after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. This will be the second nominee Trump will put forward. During…
Protesters for and against abortion rights huddle under umbrellas as they rally in groups outside while the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the abortion case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, in Washington, U.S
News

Ruling Threatens Women’s Reproductive Rights and Health

Former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan once wisely said, “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.” Unfortunately, some women in the US will be given less knowledge and information about their reproductive rights, stripping their…
People rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court while the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra case remained pending, in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2018.
News

Restrictions Discriminate Against and Isolate Muslim Women

On Thursday, Denmark became the latest in a string of European countries to ban the wearing of full-face coverings in public. Parliament voted overwhelmingly (75 to 30) to adopt legislation that will have a disproportionate impact on…
Women in niqab are pictured after the Danish Parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public, at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2018.
News

Trump’s New Rule Will Hit Poor Women, Women of Color Hardest

The Trump Administration today proposed a policy that would ban organizations providing abortion services in the US from receiving federal family planning money, known as Title X funding. This proposed rule is aimed at…
A sign in support of Planned Parenthood is seen outside a town hall meeting for Republican U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S. February 22, 2017.
News

Supporting Land Rights an Important Step

Earlier this week, the House Foreign Affairs committee approved a new bipartisan bill addressing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. It’s not comprehensive legislation on women’s economic empowerment – it doesn’t address…
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News

US Maternal Death Rates Are Rising, With Black Women at Greatest Risk

Around the world every single day 800 women and girls die from preventable causes during and after pregnancy. Human Rights Watch has documented some of the root causes of these deaths – lack of accountability of health professionals to…
The maternity ward is show at the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital in San Diego, California , U.S., April 17, 2017.