The Helms Amendment has been a hotly disputed law for decades, providing conflicting interpretations about the legality of performing abortions for unwanted pregnancies that emerge from rape in conflict. Amnesty International is leading a campaign to break down the barriers that restrict women from obtaining safe and legal abortions in the case of rape during conflict. Download the entire article below, or read the original on Amnesty International online and sign the petition here.
Across the world the number of women and girls raped in conflict is staggering. Rape is frequently used as a form of torture and as a weapon of war, and often results in unwanted pregnancy.
Right now, women who are pregnant as a result of rape are often unable to access the care that they need because of U.S. legislative barriers to safe abortion, namely the Helms Amendment. This decades-old provision forbids the U.S. to "pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning," but does not prohibit U.S. foreign assistance in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment. However, despite this distinction, lack of clarity around the Helms Amendment has served as a barrier to safe abortion services for women and girls, including those raped in conflict.
With a stroke of his pen, President Obama can eliminate these barriers and ensure that the U.S. is a leader in providing comprehensive, post-rape care, including safe abortion services, to survivors of sexual violence in conflict.
Sign the petition and tell President Obama to #BreakBarriers and ensure that the U.S. is a leader in providing comprehensive post-rape care, including safe abortion services, to survivors of sexual violence in conflict.