We’re calling on President Obama to stand with women and girls raped in conflict and break barriers to post-rape care.
Rape is used as a weapon of war and torture and often results in unwanted pregnancy. Across the world the number of women and girls raped in conflict is staggering. But right now, women who are pregnant as a result of rape are often unable to access the care that they need because of U.S. political barriers to safe abortion, namely the Helms Amendment, a decades-old provision that forbids the U.S. to "pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning," but does not prohibit U.S. foreign assistance in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment. Despite the distinction, lack of clarity around the implementation of Helms has served as a barrier to safe abortion services for women and girls, including those raped in conflict. With a stroke of his pen, President Obama can eliminate these barriers and ensure that the U.S. is a leader in providing comprehensive, post-rape care, including safe abortion services, to survivors of sexual violence in conflict.