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A Legacy to Build On: the Next Administration Must Keep up the Fight for Women’s Health

This is an thrilling and tumultuous second to be a women’s health advocate in the United States. Domestically and internationally, President Obama has taken big strides to shield women’s and women’ health and rights. From repealing the Global Gag Rule, to laying out a robust imaginative and prescient for enhancing the lives of adolescent women worldwide, he has proven true management.

But President Obama may also depart a variety of unfinished enterprise. The subsequent administration should construct on the progress made and prioritize sexual and reproductive health and rights in each home and overseas coverage.

Here are 4 objectives that ought to be at the prime of the subsequent president’s agenda:

1. Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at house and overseas

US management was essential in negotiating the 2030 Agenda: a brand new improvement paradigm that features 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which all nations are accountable for attaining. Critically, the 2030 Agenda locations women’s health and rights at the middle of worldwide improvement and commits to offering common entry to sexual and reproductive health care and defending reproductive rights. The United States fought arduous for this dedication, heeding the name of the international women’s motion. The subsequent president could have to make sure that our nation, and others, obtain it. This would require a substantial amount of political will and the assets wanted to rework rhetoric into actuality.

2. Putting the health and human rights of younger individuals, notably adolescent women, at the middle of home and overseas coverage

President Obama and his administration have proven an unprecedented dedication to enhancing the lives of younger individuals, and of adolescent women particularly. The US Agency for International Development’s 2012 Youth in Development Policy launched an effort to handle the wants of adolescents and younger individuals in a complete approach, recognizing that investing on this group and realizing their human rights will assist drive improvement.

In an much more formidable transfer, earlier this yr, the US launched its Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, which is the first complete effort—by any authorities—to holistically tackle the challenges women face. To make it possible for women can stay wholesome and empowered lives, the Strategy brings collectively various governmental businesses and initiatives, together with the DREAMS initiative, aimed toward decreasing HIV an infection in adolescent women and younger women, and Let Girls Learn, which focuses on maintaining women in class. Under the management of the subsequent president, the US authorities should absolutely fund and implement the Strategy, and discover new ways in which the US can actively help the health and rights of women and younger women round the world.

three. Recognizing that sexual rights are human rights

In late 2015, after years of advocacy from IWHC and different civil society teams, the Obama Administration lastly introduced its help for the use of the time period “sexual rights” in worldwide agreements. Sexual rights are a set of human rights that allow all individuals to have management over and determine about issues associated to their sexuality—together with whether or not or not and with whom to have sexual relationships—in addition to their sexual orientation and id. There has been rising worldwide consensus on the time period. But US officers instantly blunted the impression of their choice by failing to acknowledge that sexual rights are human rights. The subsequent administration should absolutely embrace sexual rights inside the human rights framework and actively work to promote the sexual rights of all individuals—together with women, adolescents, and lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer individuals.

four. Reducing obstacles to protected, authorized abortion

President Obama leaves a combined legacy on abortion. Domestically, abortion protection beneath Obamacare stays a hotly debated difficulty, and the president has repeatedly voiced his help for Planned Parenthood in the face of ongoing assaults. But globally, the United States continues to erect limitations between women and abortion providers by way of the Helms Amendment, which prohibits the use of U.S. funding for abortion “as a method of family planning.” President Obama has falsely interpreted this restriction as a blanket ban on funding abortion, even in instances of rape, incest, or life endangerment.

The subsequent president should do extra to guarantee all women, in all places, can entry protected and authorized abortion. Immediately upon taking workplace, the new president ought to reduce the injury achieved by the Helms Amendment by permitting funding for abortion in instances the place it isn’t getting used “as a method of family planning,” corresponding to when the women’s life or health is in peril. He or she ought to then lead efforts to absolutely repeal Helms and actively work to scale back non-legal obstacles to protected abortion, comparable to stigma and price.

Over the previous eight years, President Obama has pushed the United States ahead on sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality. On November eight, US voters will selected who will carry that mantle. Our subsequent chief may have the alternative to construct on a number of years of serious progress and to turn into a champion of women and women round the world. More than ever, we’d like US management on women’s health.


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