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Women’s Autonomy Should Be at Center of Abortion Regulation

(Washington, DC, September 14, 2021) – Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme…
A woman holds up a banner that reads "My body, I decide" during a rally to celebrate the decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that found the total criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, in Saltillo, Mexico September 7, 2021.
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New Law Prohibits Nearly All Abortion Essentially After Six Weeks of Pregnancy

The US state of Texas and the United States Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to women’s (and pregnant people’s) human rights last week. Dozens of US states have been passing destructive laws limiting abortion access for years, but courts usually…
Protesters march from City Hall to the federal courthouse in protest of the new state abortion law in Houston, Texas on September 5th, 2021.
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(Washington, D.C., July 14, 2021) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer…
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Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’…
Feminist activists and pro-choice groups witness a debate at Ecuador’s National Assembly on Criminal Code reform, in which there was a possibility that legislators would approve the decriminalization of abortion in cases involving rape, in Quito, Ecuador, on January 3, 2019.
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Pregnancy Risks Left Out of Climate Change Planning

We have corrected the online version of this report to include an additional state government response on heat health action plans received by Human Rights Watch after the requested deadline but prior to publication. Germany has delayed…
A woman shields herself from the sun with an umbrella on a hot summer day in Cologne, Germany, July 25, 2019. 
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Government, UN, Donors Should Ensure Reintegration

(New York) – The Afghan government should release children detained for alleged association with armed insurgent groups and work with the United Nations and donors to establish programs for their reintegration into society, Human Rights Watch said…
Children in Detention illustration
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Guarantee Free Education for All; Tackle Abuses

(Nairobi) – African governments across the continent should accelerate efforts and provide adequate funding to ensure that all children can enjoy their right to an education, Human Rights Watch said today to mark the African Union’s Day of the African…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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(New York, May 6, 2021) – Falling donor support for essential services in Afghanistan is reducing women’s access to essential health care, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More cuts are likely in coming months following the announcement…
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Dropping Donor Support Threatens Essential Services

(New York) – Falling donor support for essential services in Afghanistan is reducing women’s access to essential health care, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More cuts are likely in coming months following the announcement by…
A new mother holds her hour-old baby in the maternity ward at Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 2020. She had travelled from neighboring Laghman province to give birth at the hospital. On May 12, 2020, unidentified gunmen attacked the hospital’s maternity ward, killing 24 people, including 16 mothers, 2 children, and a midwife. Three new mothers were killed in the delivery room. Another 20 people, including babies, were injured in the four-hour attack. Ongoing security concerns have lef
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Lawmakers Should Enact Proposed Criminal Code Reform

(Washington, DC) – The Congress of the Dominican Republic should adopt a proposal to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances as a matter of urgency, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s total abortion ban, in effect since 1884, threatens…
An abortion rights activist holds a plastic medallion reading "For the #3Causales (#3LegalGrounds), Life, Health and Dignity" during a protest to urge parliament to approve a proposed reform to the penal code that could end the total ban on abortion, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic March 18, 2021. 
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Pregnant People, Infants, Children Particularly Vulnerable

(Washington, DC) – The administration of United States President Joe Biden should take concrete action to ensure that the country’s maternal health crisis, dominated by racial inequities, is a central focus of US domestic climate policy, a coalition…
US President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on tackling climate change on January 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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Discriminatory Restrictions Affect Independence to Marry, Study, Work, Travel

(Beirut, March 29, 2021) – Qatar’s discriminatory male guardianship system denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 94-page report, “‘Everything I Have to Do is…
Women fly a kite in a park next to a body of water
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…
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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