December 17 is the anniversary of the Helms Amendment – a U.S. law that has been undermining access to safe and legal abortion for women around the world for more than 40 years. Enacted in 1973, the Helms Amendment prohibits U.S. foreign assistance for abortion “as a method of family planning,” but the U.S. has implemented the policy as a complete ban on all abortion-related services and information, including abortions in the cases of rape, incest and life endangerment, and even in countries where abortion is legal.
Women and girls who live in countries that have restrictive abortion laws are far less likely than their American sisters to obtain safe abortion care. Every year, tens of thousands of women and girls die needlessly and millions more are injured due to the complications of unsafe abortion.
We invite you to join our #HelmsHurts social media campaign!
Follow the hashtag #HelmsHurts to participate in the conversation to raise your voice to protect the lives and health of women overseas!
About Our Advocacy Efforts
Despite notable advancements in U.S. foreign policy and a focus on the health and well being of women and girls in development efforts, the Obama Administration has not corrected the restrictive implementation of the Helms Amendment. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can allow U.S. foreign assistance support for abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment and reverse more than four decades of neglect of women’s basic human rights. This action is not only legal, but a clear moral imperative.
- We can’t let U.S. abortion politics keep women in other countries from getting lifesaving healthcare. #HelmsHurts!
- U.S. global health programs don’t support abortion even in cases of rape, incest, & life-threatening pregnancy. bit.ly/helmshurts #HelmsHurts
- The Helms Amendment should be in line with other federal laws + policies for abortion exceptions like: life, rape, incest. #HelmsHurts
- #HelmsHurts women: info. censorship, equipment shortages, obstructing access to safe abortions. 40 years is too long for bad policy!
- Let’s make this a year of action. 40+ years of #HelmsHurts due to inaction. The stakes are high for women worldwide
- #HelmsHurts women and their communities, it undermines US development efforts & hinders progress for safe abortion policies.
- #Obama Admin has done so much for #women and #girls already – next up, correcting #HelmsHurts! Women need our support.
- The Helms Amendment continues to be implemented as a total ban on abortion at women’s expense. How much longer? #HelmsHurts
- HelmsHurts #youth – close to half of those who die from unsafe abortion are younger than 25. Let’s get them the care they need.