The United States has Successfully removed language ensuring victims could receive treatment from family planning clinics from a United Nations resolution intended to prevent rape from being used as a weapon of war. The U.S. had previously threatened to veto the resolution as long as it contained that language.
The Trump administration has stated that any resolutions or documents referring to reproductive or sexual health measures could imply support for abortion. They have also opposed using the word “gender” in any UN documents, saying that it simply covers for the promotion of transgender rights.
“They are threatening to use their veto over this agreed language on comprehensive healthcare services including sexual and reproductive health,” said UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict Pramila Patten.
According to The Guardian, the language referring to family planning clinics was only mentioned in a single clause urging the “United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health…”
Several European states, including Germany, France, and the UK, have been opposed to removing the language on access to treatment at family planning clinics, believing it would surrender recent gains in international women’s rights.
One European diplomat said that the veto threat was “an attack on the progressive normative framework established over the past 25 years.”
“Until the Trump administration, we could always count on the Americans to help us defend it. Now the Americans have switched camp,” the diplomat stated. “Now it’s an unholy alliance of the US, the Russians, the Holy See, the Saudis, and the Bahrainis, chipping away at progress that has been made.”
With the changes made, the resolution passed.
✅ 13 in favor
The adoption is a resounding expression of our will to strengthen the international response to sexual violence. pic.twitter.com/9xJB1u07rL
— German Mission to UN (@GermanyUN) April 23, 2019
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.