Weapon of war

Women raped by ISIS denied aid because of U.S. abortion laws

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AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

Women who have been raped and impregnated by terrorist captors are denied because of an antiquated U.S. law. The “Helms Amendment”, a 42-year-old federal law forbids U.S. aid money being used for abortion “as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortion.”  At a summit in Washington last week, representatives from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) and the NGO, Centre for Health and Gender Equity, called on Obama to change the law. They believe abortion is a vital part of post-rape care, arguing that when Yazidi, Iraqi, Nigerian, and Syrian women are systematically raped, the abortions that they might seek afterwards are not for “family planning purposes.” “Rape is a tool of war, and in the midst of that hell, women and girls who have survived atrocities deserve access to comprehensive post-rape care, including access to compassionate abortion. That’s what loving your neighbour looks like in this case,” RCRC president Harry Knox said at the conference. The White House has not yet issued an official response.

Read the full story at The Independent.

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