By Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO
Here in the United States, those of us committed to reproductive rights and justice have been fighting an uphill battle for decades—one that got even more intense in 2016 due to the presidential election. Even before the 2016 election, the gains made here have been threatened by constant attacks from the opposition that chip away at abortion access in the states.
But this weekend, we all shared in collective shock, sorrow and rage when the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, despite his track record of ignoring women’s rights and allegations that he had sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
It’s despicable that while much of the rest of the world moves to embrace sexual and reproductive health and abortion rights, U.S. politicians work to dismantle such rights at every turn.
Look to Ireland, where the resounding referendum vote overturned a 35-year ban on abortion. And to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where women can now legally access abortion under a broader range of conditions.
At Ipas, we work across Asia, Latin America and Africa to train abortion providers, connect women with vital information so they can access care, and advocate for safe, legal abortion. Why? Because our vision is one of a world where every woman and girl, including those living in the United States, can determine their own sexuality and reproductive future—because it’s their right.
In many of the countries where we work, legal access to abortion is restricted and we have seen the consequences. When abortion is criminalized, women turn to unsafe methods and risk serious injury or even death. When abortion is criminalized, women and providers go to jail and abortion goes underground—because we know it’s not going to go away.
American women, like women around the world, deserve better. To our U.S. partners, advocates and allies, we stand with you in solidarity. We’ll keep fighting to make this world a better place for women and girls.
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