Reproductive Health Providers as Human Rights Workers

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Over at TrustLaw.org, Cynthia Soohoo, Director of the U.S. Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights,  has posted an op-ed entitled, “The Word on Women – And now some good news for women’s abortion rights…” Here is an excerpt:

We all…know…that anti-choice extremists’ intimidation and sometimes violent tactics have led to a striking decrease in the numbers of abortion providers over the last two decades. The good news is that in the midst of what seems to be an increasingly untenable situation, there is a little-known movement to raise the status of abortion providers here in the U.S. and it is gaining momentum.

For the first time, health professionals who provide sexual and reproductive health services have been explicitly included in a select group of heroic individuals who work non-violently to protect and promote human rights. The designation of human rights defenders…is an important step towards getting governments to understand that the doctors, counselors, nurses, and health professionals who provide abortion and other reproductive health services play an indispensible role in making sure that women have access to essential medical services fundamentally tied to their health and well-being. Without committed reproductive health professionals, women’s right to make personal and fundamental decisions about their reproductive health and lives would be meaningless. Recognizing them as human rights defenders requires that governments take responsibility for ending attacks and harassment and encourage respect for these individuals and the work that they do.

Read the full post here.

-Bridget Crawford

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