GJC is hosting a movie screening about the last abortion clinic in Mississipi.
Abortion Access in Conflict
Sunday: Having women vote in elections and making their voices heard is important regardless of where they are from. The story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first female President in Liberia and in Africa, is a miraculous tale of perseverance, power and unity of women in a war-torn country and the incredible power of peaceful negotiations and democratic norms.
Monday: Republicans announced their health plan that will replace the Affordable Care Act. It is a plan that eliminates many parts of Obamacare and introduces a system where Americans will buy health insurance on the open market. However, not all Republicans are on board with the replacement. Many people are concerned that they will be left without any coverage and that health benefits will become a more difficult to obtain than under Obamacare.
Monday: When it comes to international law and ratifying UN treaties, it seems the US prefers to take the back seat. From decisions ranging from children’s rights to protecting endangered species, the US, particularly the Republican Party, backs away from support citing fears that it will limit US sovereignty. Here’s a good overview of the complex relationship the US has with international law.
Tuesday: Still have any questions about President Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule? You’re not the only one. This ‘Questions and Answers’ page provided by Human Rights Watch explains what the Gag Rule is in depth and is great if you have lingering questions or concerns.
Wednesday: In celebration of International Women’s Day, women all around the world have gathered in demonstrations celebrating womanhood, but also bringing to light the devastating issues regarding women’s rights, wage gaps, reproductive health and discrimination.
Friday: With the Trump Administration well underway, it seems that the US’s role in the realm of human rights is changing. As a Western power, the US has often played the role of defender of human rights, but now diplomats and advocates are noticing a shift in foreign diplomacy and the US’s commitment to upholding democratic values.
Check out a new video of Janet Benshoof, Founder and President of GJC, talking about the Global Gag Rule at the European Parliament.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 8 2017
Washington, DC – Today, on International Women’s Day and the day of the Women’s Strike, the Global Justice Center joins over 40 other partner organizations in protesting against Trump’s reinstated and expanded Global Gag Rule.
Download and print these signs to stand with the Global Justice Center and protest Trump's reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule.
Tuesday, Republicans are having and will continue to have trouble repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The reality is that the Republicans do not have a credible, alternative health care plan and continuing to criticize ACA is turning away groups of people that depend on Obamacare. More and more people are supporting ACA and the Republicans are having trouble garnering support for getting rid of it. However, Republicans can still repeal certain aspects of ACA and that includes Birth Control coverage. This means that birth control will no longer be cost free as it has been under Obamacare.
Tuesday, the article encourages the Australian government to take action to support Australian women who will suffer from the Global Gag Rule, citing the issues that may arise from the lack of funding and access to health care and health benefits.
Wednesday, despite reassurance that women’s health is on Trump’s agenda, benefits and funds are still being slashed for women’s health organizations and charities. This is resulting in various protests around the globe and even prompting female Democrats to wear white during Trump’s speech to Congress.
Thursday, more and more countries are joining the fight against the Global Gag Rule. The “She Decides” conference that is held in Brussels this week is a platform of powerful leaders that seek to raise $600m. According to news sources, around 50 governments will attend the conference to raise funds. There will be representatives from Canada, UK, Afghanistan and Chad and other countries who are standing up for women’s rights and availability of reproductive healthcare.
Thursday, after further investigations, the United Nations declared that all Syrian sides that fought in Aleppo committed war crimes. According to Dawn, there is proof from the investigation that a humanitarian convoy was deliberately targeted in Aleppo province on September 19. These recent events have also attracted the attention of many human rights workers who want to bring to the public’s attention that Syrian civilians are often targeted and that the “warring parties” do not fear consequences for their actions regardless of the international laws that are put into place.
GJC is joinnig the protest against President Donald Trump's Global Gag Rule.
The Global Justice Center Commends the “She Decides” Initiative for Combatting the Deadly Effects of Trump’s expanded Global Gag Rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 2 2017
Brussels (BE)– Today, the Belgian, Dutch, Swedish and Danish Governments hosted a conference in support of the global fundraising initiative “She Decides.” The initiative was founded to combat the impact of the Global Gag Rule that Donald Trump signed on his second day in office.
Join the protest in D.C. on International Women's Day, March 8th, to Resist Trump. Kill the Gag. #TrumpGlobalGag #NoAbortionBan
More information here.
On December 13th, GJC's Legal Director, Akila Radhakrishnan, published a piece in Rewire on Trump, torture, abortion and international law.
A Hindrance on Abortions to Rape Victims
by Eva Marie Wüst Vestergaard
US abortion restrictions constrain abortion speech and services around the world. Under a Trump administration, it is likely these restrictions will be expanded, causing confusion for providers and harming women raped in war.
For the past six years, the Global Justice Center has worked to lift the US abortion ban on foreign aid. The Helms Amendment stipulates that US funding cannot be used for any kind of abortion speech and services. However, this does not constrain foreign organizations from using other funding for abortion activities as long as their funding is segregated. This latitude is not well known and in the aftermath of the US election, it is now also imperilled.
The Mexico City Policy or the Global Gag Rule (GGR), imposed by Reagan, requires that foreign organizations receiving US funds for family planning activities cannot perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. Foreign organizations under GGR are allowed to spend other funding for abortion speech and services in the cases of rape, incest, or if the “mother’s life would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term”, as these are not methods of family planning.
The GGR has continuously been rescinded under democratic presidencies and reinstated under republican presidencies. It was rescinded by President Obama eight years ago and will most likely be reinstated by Trump. When the GGR is reinstated it produces a “chilling effect” on providers of abortion services around the world.
The chilling effect refers to the fact that US abortion restrictions are so complicated and incomprehensible that providers avoid any activity on abortion as a preventive measure to avoid the risk of losing funding. It is, for example, a common misconception that the Helms amendment is a total ban on abortion speech and services, whilst the ban only covers US funding, not alternative segregated funding.
Should a reinstatement of the GGR become a reality, foreign organizations may be likely to disregard abortion services in spite of having autonomy to provide them to rape victims and other cases that are not defined as family planning. Therefore, it is vital to be fully informed of what these restrictions entail, be wary of misconceptions, and eliminate the chilling effect that hinders raped women’s right to abortion around the world.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—November 14, 2016
[NEW YORK and GEVENA (OMCT-GJC)] — Tomorrow, the Committee Against Torture (CAT), during its 59th session, will examine Sri Lanka’s fifth State party report. In October, the Global Justice Center (GJC) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) jointly submitted an alternative report focused on how Sri Lankan law violates the Convention Against Torture by banning abortion in most circumstances, and by authorizing rape in certain instances and child marriage.
Read Katie McDonough's articleon Fusion, "The secret history of the activists who fought for poor women’s abortion rights at the Supreme Court."