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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
On the campaign trail and during his first three months in office, President Biden promised a US return to a multilateral foreign policy that supports human rights. That is an important vision for the Middle East, a region often destabilized…
President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2021. 
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.
News

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. 
Report
Summary When “Elena” (not her real name) discovered she was pregnant at age 16, she carefully considered her options and decided she was not ready to parent. She knew she wanted an abortion, but she wasn’t able to discuss her decision with her mother…
News

Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
News

Law Violates Young People’s Human Rights, Can Delay Their Care

(Chicago) – An Illinois law that requires a young person seeking an abortion to involve an adult family member is dangerous for youth in the state, violates their human rights, and threatens their health and safety, Human Rights Watch and the American…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
News

Further Steps Needed to Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights

(Washington, DC) – United States President Joe Biden has issued a presidential memorandum that is an important first step to repair harm to sexual and reproductive health and rights, but more executive and legislative action is needed, Human Rights…
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

As Outrage Against Abuses Grows, Fix Bill’s Major Gaps and Pass It

(Beirut) – Iran should address gaps in its long-awaited draft law on violence against women that offers limited protections for survivors of domestic violence, and put it before the parliament for a vote, Human Rights Watch said today. Over the…
Iranian women wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus walk at the Grand Bazaar in Tehran on February 20, 2020.
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. 
News
Earlier this year, as part of our work with the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative and Human Rights Watch, we spoke to a young woman from rural Bolivar County, Mississippi. She had been planning to attend college this fall, the first in her…
News

Cities, Federal Agencies, Should Broaden Responses to Climate Change

(Washington, DC) – Many plans by local, state, and federal authorities in the United States to respond to heat extremes and climate change miss the threat that extreme heat poses to pregnancy, particularly for low-income and Black and brown people,…
A pregnant African-American woman sits on a bench in a black and white photo
News
Last July, I spoke with Sky H., a 20-year–old who identifies as non-binary and grew up in a very conservative rural town in the Black Belt region of Alabama. In school, Sky received abstinence-only…
Desks in an empty classroom
News

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

Unalienable Rights Panel Shouldn’t Rewrite International Law

The United States State Department should reject any attempt by its Commission on Unalienable Rights to rewrite international law by rejecting internationally recognized rights for all, Human Rights Watch said today. In a …
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, unveils the creation of Commission on "Unalienable" Rights, headed by Mary Ann Glendon, left, a Harvard Law School professor and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, during an announcement at the US State Dep
News
In the week and a half leading up to my daughter’s birth last July, I saw an obstetrician several times, then was hospitalized to monitor my high blood pressure. I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, a condition that can lead to serious, and…
U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL), co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus,  speaking at the Black Maternal Health Caucus Stakeholder Summit at the Capitol in Washington, DC on July 11, 2019.
News

Don’t Use Religion to Justify Bias Against Women, LGBTQ People

The United States State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights should uphold international human rights commitments and not use freedom of religion as a cloak to permit violations of the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ people,…
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, unveils the creation of Commission on "Unalienable" Rights, headed by Mary Ann Glendon, left, a Harvard Law School professor and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, during an announcement at the US State Dep