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General News    H4'ed 4/29/19

Trump Admin. Torpedos UN Resolution Designed To Help Rape Victims

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Rape survivors in war-torn countries will no longer receive reproductive health care.

And the United States is partly to blame.

On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council was forced to vote against a resolution that would assist rape victims after the U.S. threatened to veto any resolution that included references to reproductive health.

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The U.S., Russia, and China also compelled the council to refrain from creating a new monitoring body to report atrocities.

As The Guardian reported, a clause in the resolution:

"Urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial, legal and livelihood support and other multi-sectoral services for survivors of sexual violence, taking into account the specific needs of persons with disabilities."

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But the Trump administration heard "abortion," causing the U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Primila Patten, to criticize the "huge contradiction that you are talking about a survivor-centered approach and you do not have language on sexual and reproductive healthcare services, which is for me the most critical."

Under the Trump administration's thumb, language referring to sexual health and "the training of journalists on the issue of sexual violence" is also eliminated.

Reproductive health includes emergency contraception, sexually transmitted disease prevention, and safe maternity care.

All are imperiled now.

The United Kingdom's special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict, Tariq Ahmad, said to The Guardian:

"We deeply regret the language on services for survivors of sexual violence, recognizing the acute need for those services to include comprehensive reproductive and separate sexual healthcare. If we are to have a survivor-centered approach, we cannot ignore this important priority."

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Francois Delattre, the French permanent representative to the UN, said his country is "dismayed by the fact that one state has demanded the removal of the reference to sexual and reproductive health"going against 25 years of gains for women's rights in situations of armed conflict."

Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, whose efforts combating sexual violence earned them the Nobel Peace Prize last year, said in a statement:

"There is simply no excuse for continuing to fail those who have already been victimizedas well as those who continue to be at risk ofdevastating levels of sexual violence in conflict."

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Ted Millar is poet and teacher. His poetry has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to Liberal America and Liberal Nation (more...)

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