Policy Update

US Senators claim US effort to remove sexual health from UN agreements violates law

Four United States Senators, all democrats, have raised concerns that the Trump administration -- by lobbying countries to remove “sexual and reproductive health” from United Nations agreements -- may have violated federal law.  In the lead up to the UN meetings this fall, the US sent a letter to 70 countries, urging that such language be dropped from an agreement on universal health coverage. In a letter, the four Senators wrote that the US efforts to persuade countries to remove the language was not only harmful to women and families but that it "violates the Siljander Amendment, which prohibits use of foreign assistance in lobbying ‘for or against abortion’."

Although the US failed in its efforts in September, it continues to push for the removal of “sexual and reproductive health” from international agreements. During recent consideration of a resolution on women, peace, and security, the US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, said the US “could not accept” the resolution because it included the phrase.

News article - The Guardian