WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s been reported that the U.S. is threatening to veto a United Nations (UN) resolution combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because it calls for rape victims to have access to family planning and women’s health clinics.
This is only the most recent—and sickest—example of the Trump Administration’s hard line against any UN effort to promote sexual or reproductive health, on grounds that such efforts promote support for abortions. Trump also wants to block UN use of the word “gender,” asserting that the language is a cover for endorsement of transgender rights.
Under international law, conflict-related sexual violence is regarded as a crime against humanity. During the Rwanda genocide of 1994, it was used with the intent of destroying an entire population.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about any of that. In one of his first acts as president, he reinstituted the Global Gag Rule, which bars U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals. This latest threat to the UN resolution is yet another attempt to deny access to abortion to women all over the world and kowtow to the religious extremists who fueled his political rise while abandoning responsibility for healing and bringing justice to survivors.
Trump is aided in these efforts by a small group of other countries who seek to control women’s reproductive health, including Russia and China. The Vatican and the “Holy See” at the UN is also constantly intervening to stop any progress towards expanding reproductive health access around the world, thereby limiting desperately needed aid for victims of this horrific violence.
This is disgusting. This is sick. This is wrong. This must not be allowed to happen. NOW calls on the Trump Administration to support—and strengthen—UN action against sexual violence as a weapon of war, not water it down.