Feb. 23, 2018 – In the latest move of a long string of attacks by the Trump administration on women’s health and rights, the State Department has been directed to censor mentions of women’s reproductive rights and discrimination in its annual report on human rights, according to Politico.

The Trump administration’s reported directive calls for “stripping passages that describe societal views on family planning, including how much access women have to contraceptives and abortion.” In addition, the directive would allow for paring down sections of the report focusing on ethnic, racial, and sexual discrimination.

Said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:

“From day one, this administration has displayed a startling disregard for the reality of women’s health and lives. Failing to call out human rights violations because they pertain to reproductive rights is a disgrace. Obscuring and censoring mentions of discrimination against women sends the signal that the U.S. tacitly condones marginalization of women and girls around the world.

“Accountability is central to meeting human rights obligations, and human rights cannot be fully realized unless reproductive rights are recognized and protected.

As one of his first acts as president, Donald Trump imposed a sweeping policy restricting access to safe abortion services for women worldwide. Trump’s Global Gag Rule – which was further expanded in May 2017 – dictates that U.S.-supported international health care service groups abroad may no longer use their own money to provide safe and legal abortion services, or even provide information that refers to safe abortion as a “method of family planning,” at the risk of women’s health and lives. The current Global Gag Rule applies to a wide range of global health assistance provided by the U.S. government, impacting funds for contraception, safe motherhood, treatment of HIV/AIDS, Zika, Ebola and other infectious diseases.

In response to President Trump reinstating – and expanding – the Global Gag Rule, the Center for Reproductive Rights created a Global Gag Rule Pro Bono Clearinghouse, comprised of global law firms with relevant expertise to provide free legal representation to NGOs affected by the Global Gag Rule.