Abortion rights activists protested the United State of Women Summit at the White House today and took out a full page ad in The Washington Post criticizing President Obama for failing to expand access to abortion for women in conflict. The protesters called on Obama to use his executive power to change the Helms Amendment, which prevents U.S. foreign aid from being used for abortion care for women raped in conflict. Obama could add exceptions to the amendment that would allow funding in cases of rape, incest, and a woman’s life being in danger, but he has not yet taken that action, according to The Huffington Post.
“As long as President Obama continues to walk away from women raped in conflict, his legacy on gender equality is incomplete,” Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity said. “To remain silent and fail to act is unconscionable, deadly and damages his legacy.”
The ad also criticized Obama for not addressing abortion rights directly at the summit, which will cover topics including unplanned pregnancy, violence against women, and women’s economic empowerment, according to the report. The White House did not immediately comment on the protest.
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.