80 Groups Call on the Obama Administration to Allow U.S. Foreign Assistance for Safe Abortion Services

Article Date

08 September 2014

Article Author

Erin Kelly

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]

Today, ICRW joined a broad-based coalition of 80 leading domestic and global organizations spanning women’s rights, health, human rights, reproductive justice, young people, the LGBT community, faith, and development in calling for President Obama to end the incorrect implementation of the Helms Amendment, a move that would save women’s lives and protect their wellbeing.

The Helms Amendment prevents any foreign assistance money from going toward paying for an abortion “as a method of family planning.” For more than 40 years, the amendment has been incorrectly interpreted, resulting in a complete ban on funding for abortions, even in case of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk.

As a result, around the world, women’s lives hang in the balance. Every year, an estimated 287,000 women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth – 13% of those deaths are the result of unsafe abortion. And nearly half of those who die from unsafe abortion are younger than the age of 25.

The cost of inaction is far too great.

By joining with 80 organizations representing a range of issues, ICRW is sending a strong message to the U.S. government, which can, and should, take whatever steps it can to protect the health – and lives – of women around the world.

To read the full letter, click here.