Please see below statement from Refugees International President Eric Schwartz and Senior Advocate for Women and Girls Devon Cone:
“Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa’s October 30th letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres demonstrates a continued hostility toward sexual and reproductive health care. To describe the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) as “a vehicle to advance a morally reprehensible pro-abortion agenda” is inaccurate, misleading, and offensive.
Access to sexual and reproductive health care plays a critical role enhancing the well-being of women around the world. This includes access to contraception, access to HIV/AIDs prevention and treatment, maternal health care, and neonatal care. It also includes access to abortion services where they are legally available, services which should not be arbitrarily restricted in ways that make meaningless in practice the provision of access as a matter of law. Sexual and reproductive health care is especially critical in the context of humanitarian emergencies. Given the high levels of sexual violence in conflict zones and in contexts of displacement—violence that is increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic—access to sexual and reproductive health care saves lives.”
For press inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact Sarah Sheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.