At the United Nations

The U.S. Legal Department strives to protect and advance reproductive liberty and access to reproductive health care in the United States by employing diverse strategies grounded in CRR's legal expertise.

To learn more about the different areas of our work, please check out our U.S. litigation, advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and the states, U.S.-based human rights work, and our Law School Initiative.

The Center's litigation work in the United States seeks to broadly promote reproductive rights. Our goals include:

  • Securing recognition that reproductive freedom is both a fundamental constitutional right and a human right that the government is obligated to respect, protect and fulfill;
  • Ensuring that all women have access to safe and affordable contraception;
  • Protecting women’s access to safe, legal and affordable abortion services;
  • Ensuring that adolescents have access to reproductive health services; that adolescents’ confidentiality is protected in their pursuit of those services; and that adolescents have access to age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education;
  • Defending abortion providers against unreasonable government actions

In The Spotlight

The Guardian: Irish abortion ban case taken to UN Human Rights Committee

Ireland's continued ban on most abortions has come under attack nationally and internationally, with campaigners calling for a referendum on termination rights, and UN intervention…

Ending the Shame

No great leaps in medical technology will ever alter the reality that a certain percentage of pregnancies fail for natural, unavoidable reasons. What can, and what in fact must, change is the care women receive in some corners of the world when such events unfold…

Brazilian Lawmakers Hear Testimony Regarding Discrimination Against Women Seeking Maternal Health Care

(PRESS RELEASE) Two years after the United Nations declared Brazil responsible for the death of an Afro-Brazilian woman —calling on the State to provide access to quality maternal health care without discrimination—pregnant women are still dying, and Brazil has not implemented the…

Irish Woman Forced to Travel Abroad for Abortion Brings Case to United Nations

(PRESS RELEASE) Today the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a case before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on behalf of Amanda Mellet who, due to Ireland’s restrictive abortion law, was forced to travel to the United Kingdom to obtain safe and legal abortion services after she…

The Irish Times: Irish women forced to travel for abortions to take cases to UN

Three women who were forced to travel to Britain to terminate their pregnancies following diagnoses that their babies would not survive outside the womb will take their cases to the United Nations next week. …

Maternal Mortality and the Decriminalization of Abortion at the Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council gathered for its 24th session in Geneva, from September 9-27, 2013, bringing together human rights activists, civil society members, and United Nations and state officials from across the globe…

Shadow letter to the Human Rights Committee for its adoption of list of issues for Ireland

In August 2013 the Center for Reproductive Rights submitted a letter to assist the Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Human Rights Committee in its formulation of issues for Ireland’s coming review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  The letter specifically…

New U.N. Report Links Adolescent Pregnancy to Human Rights Failures, Calls on States to Address Range of Contributing Issues

(PRESS RELEASE) The Center for Reproductive Rights commended the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today for linking adolescent pregnancy to an underlying failure to fulfill young women’s human rights in its new flagship report…

Access to EC in Latin America Takes Center Stage at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

(PRESS RELEASE) Healthcare professionals, lawyers, policymakers, and reproductive health advocates are gathering today in Washington, D.C. to testify on emergency contraception restrictions in Latin America, specifically in Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Honduras…

United Nations: Women Living in War-Torn Countries Need Comprehensive Reproductive Health Services

(PRESS RELEASE) Acknowledging the devastating impact of sexual violence, particularly when it is used as a weapon of war on women, this week two United Nations bodies—the UN Security Council and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee)—took action…

Our Work in Focus

An important component of the Center's work is ensuring that the United States lives up to its human rights commitments related to reproductive rights. The U.S…
Six years ago this week, the Center for Reproductive Rights won a groundbreaking victory for the women of Peru and around the world . For the first time, an international human rights body condemned a country for failing to provide abortion services that were both legal and essential to the health of a woman, violating her fundamental human rights in the process…

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