President Obama Urged to Ensure the Rights of Female Rape Survivors in Armed Conflict

August 13, 2011

On the 62nd anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, the Global Justice Center leads a consortium of human rights groups in urging the President to lift abortion restrictions on all US humanitarian aid for victims of rape in armed conflict.

New York, NY (PRWEB) August 12, 2011

Thousands of girls and women raped and impregnated in armed conflict are routinely denied abortions imposing additional suffering on these victims. This can be largely attributed to the abortion restrictions the US places on all states and organizations that receive US foreign aid, including humanitarian aid for victims in conflict. The Obama Administration has retained this no abortion clause, which went into force during the Bush Administration and contains no life or rape exception. Recognizing that this restriction can be lifted by a Presidential executive order, the Global Justice Center has launched a campaign to urge the President to lift this “no abortion policy” and reaffirm the U.S.’s commitment to uphold the Geneva Conventions.

Janet Benshoof, President of the Global Justice Center says, “Why does the Administration persist in retaining this dirty tendril of the Helms Amendment, something that neither Helms called for nor is being advocated for by even the most conservative Congressmen?”

The Geneva Conventions mandate that all persons wounded and sick in armed conflict receive non-discriminatory medical care including impregnated victims of rape. The omission of the option of abortion for pregnant female rape victims is discriminatory because theoretically male and non-pregnant female rape victims are offered all necessary medical services as dictated by their condition. Further, denying access to safe abortion for rape victims has been characterized as torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by various international human rights bodies.

Benshoof continues, “This US policy makes no sense – legally, politically, or ethically. No one doubts the personal commitment of President Obama to ensuring US compliance with the Geneva Conventions and to ending US complicity with actions that could be deemed cruel and inhuman treatment of persons who are protected under the laws of war.”

Over forty prominent human rights organizations as well as numerous legal academics have sent letters to the President as part of this ongoing campaign. For more information about how the Global Justice Center is fighting for women’s rights around the world, and to sign the petition, visit http://chn.ge/q95BXy.

About The Global Justice Center

The Global Justice Center (http://www.globaljusticecenter.net) is an international human rights NGO that works to promote justice and gender equality by creating legal precedents and legal tools to advocate for the progressive interpretation and aggressive enforcement of international law.


For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2011/8/prweb8715104.htm

Source: prweb

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