Wednesday, June 3, 2020

UN Criticizes States That Tried To Limit Abortion; WHO Quietly Complained about Chinese Secrecy In Jan, and Other C-Virus Updates

Lucas Jackson/Reuters
In a recent letter to the United Nations, John Barsa, acting director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, asked the U.N. to remove “reproductive health” and abortion from its humanitarian plan to address the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“The U.N. should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an ‘essential service,’” Barsa wrote. “Unfortunately, the Global [Humanitarian Response Plan] does just this, by cynically placing the provision of ‘sexual and reproductive health services’ on the same level of importance as food-insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation.”
Rebuffing that letter, the U.N.’s Human Rights Council now has formally cited several U.S. states that attempted to limit abortion, among many elective procedures, in order to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
“UN experts are concerned some U.S. states — such as Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee — appear to be manipulating #COVID19 crisis measures to restrict access to essential #abortion care,” a U.N. Twitter account wrote last week.
In a statement, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Office of the High Commissioner elaborated on this criticism, asserting that “some US states appear to be manipulating the COVID-19 crisis to curb access to essential abortion care.”
“We regret that the above-mentioned states, with a long history of restrictive practices against abortion, appear to be manipulating the crisis to severely restrict women’s reproductive rights,” said Elizabeth Broderick, vice chair of the U.N.’s working group on discrimination against women and girls.
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