Toward a More Civilized Society

Transcript of the presentation "About Face: The United States in full retreat on abortion rights while other countries make surprising advances," held on November 13, 2007 with speakers David Cole, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The panel was moderated by Roberta Schneiderman, Emeritus Board Member of Planned Parenthood of New York City.

From Nancy's speech:

"I'm going to talk, too, about widening the lens to take us beyond the borders of the United States to see what's happening elsewhere, because when we broaden that lens there is good news in what is happening in transnational law around recognizing abortion as a human right. There's been a movement internationally for decades about recognizing reproductive rights as human rights but more recently also about recognizing abortion within the human rights framework.

A few weeks ago I was traveling to London for a maternal mortality conference — a global conference on the continued high rate of women's deaths worldwide related to pregnancy, now nearly 500,000 annually. My son said to me, 'Well, what are you going to be talking about at this conference?' When I told him that I was going to talk about abortion as a human rights issue, I got 'the look,' as in 'You know, Mom, this time you've gone too far.'"

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