Abortion

The Center's Federal Advocacy Program works with Congress and the executive branch to protect and promote reproductive rights and health. We advocate for domestic and foreign policy that advances reproductive health and freedom and allows women and families to prosper.

Our advocacy efforts support the following important goals:

  1. Promote unbiased information about reproductive and sexual health;
  2. Improve access to contraception;
  3. Secure women's right to choose and obtain abortion;
  4. Improve healthcare for pregnant women;
  5. Support reproductive rights in foreign assistance programs;
  6. Promote recognition of and protection for reproductive rights as human rights at the United Nations.
  7. To assist policymakers, we supply critical facts and legal analyses that support these objectives. A description of our recent efforts can be found below.

With 2010 underway and landmark healthcare legislation finally signed into law, our office is committed to ensuring that the Center's voice is heard during the rulemaking and implementation processes that will give effect to the healthcare bill.

The Center's Federal Advocacy Program remains committed to stopping harmful federal regulations and policies, such as the Federal Abortion Ban. In November 2009, the Center launched a campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal dollars from being used to pay for abortion services.

The Center also urged President Obama to repeal the Department of Health and Human Services "conscientious refusal" regulation, which allows anyone involved in providing healthcare services to refuse to provide reproductive services and information because of religious and moral beliefs.

Another key goal is to secure Senate ratification of the International Treaty for the Rights of Women. This important treaty, often described as an international bill of rights for women, defines what constitutes discrimination against women and provides a framework for national action to eliminate discrimination. In failing to ratify the treaty, the U.S. has positioned itself alongside Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Vatican City, and aand a few small Pacific island nations.

Since November 2009, the Center has called on President Obama to undo many harmful polices of the Bush Administration on reproductive health, and to put the United States on track to resume its position as a world leader in championing equality and human rights, and in supporting access to essential reproductive healthcare. The Center asked the President to promote reproductive health policies guided by science and not ideology by striking funding for abstinence-only programs from his proposed budget, and by appointing agency heads, including the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Food and Drug Administration, who will not allow politics to trump science.

In March, the Center launched a video and issued a call to action to urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take steps to remove unnecessary age and point-of-sale restrictions currently limited access to emergency contraception. Last year, in response to litigation brought by the Center, a federal judge found that the restrictions resulted from political, ideological influence from the Bush Administration, rather than the scientific recommendations of its own experts. We are urging swift action from the FDA to open up use of emergency contraception to all those who may need it.

We also stress the critical importance of appointing judges to the federal courts (including the Supreme Court) that are committed to supporting established constitutional rights, including women's right to choose abortion.

On the international front, we ask that the President support reproductive rights and health at the United Nations and within foreign assistance programs by repealing the Global Gag Rule, restoring funding to the United Nations Population Fund, and nominating representatives to the United Nations who are committed to living up to the U.S.'s prior commitments to promote and protect reproductive rights.

En Vedette

Miscarriage of Justice

Last week, Guadalupe spent her first night at home as a free woman following seven years in prison. After mounting international and local pressure prompted the Salvadoran government to issue a pardon in her case, she was quietly released…

Colorado Proposes Ultimate Sham Law

Extremist Colorado politicians are making a risky move with a new piece of sweeping anti-choice legislation that could actually end up alienating moderate voters, according to a recent article in RH Reality Check

Webinar Series with LSRJ & Ipas

We're partnering with the Law Students for Reproductive Rights to bring you another webinar series this spring! Join us for “The World's Abortion Laws Map,” the first webinar of the series on Wednesday, March 4th at 4pm PT/7pm ET…

A Bold Vision for Texas

If you don’t know where the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas is, get out a map. Trace your finger down to the southernmost point of the state where it plunges toward Mexico…

Reproductive Rights in a New Era

You’re invited to the upcoming symposium, “Reproductive Rights in a New Era: Transitioning from Casey to the 21st Century” on Friday, February 13th at Penn Law School…

Justice Undone

With one of the world’s most extreme abortion bans, El Salvador prohibits women from receiving an abortion under any circumstance—not in cases of rape or incest, not even to save their lives. Since 1998, dozens of women have been wrongfully criminalized and imprisoned under this law—even

MSNBC: 42 Years After Roe, Nancy Northup Sees Danger and Hope

In a powerful op-ed on MSNBC.com, Center for Reproductive Rights president and CEO Nancy Northup takes stock of the continued fight for reproductive freedom on the 42nd anniversary of Roe

Six Reasons Why We Fight for Roe

How much would we lose in a world without Roe v. Wade? Ask a woman who’s been there…

National Law Journal Features Pro Bono Attorney Alex Lawrence

Alex Lawrence is an attorney at Morrison & Foerster who works pro bono with the Center for Reproductive Rights. He has personally logged 650 hours fighting Texas HB2, a sham law that threatens abortion access for thousands of women in the state…

Helms Hurts

For Roselyn, a reproductive health care worker in Uganda—where abortion is legal in some circumstances but very difficult to access—death is an everyday part of her job due to the high incidence of unsafe abortions…

Our Work in Focus

The Monitoring Tool provides a means to monitor the implementation of specific State obligations in the field of reproductive rights…
Every year, tens of thousands of women are lured to crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S…
The right to life is a fundamental human right, central to the enjoyment of all other human rights…
Human Rights defenders are the activists, including journalists, lawyers, judges, and healthcare providers, whose work allows others to exercise their human rights…

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