Incomplete Human Rights Reporting at the State Department

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reverse his predecessor’s decision to omit reproductive rights from the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Writing in The Hill, Northup outlined some of the most critical violations of reproductive rights—including high rates of preventable maternal mortality, limited availability of contraception, and criminal abortion laws—that have been documented and denounced by State Department reporting since 2010.

But in the 2017 reports, published on April 20, Northup describes “a gaping hole.” She writes:

“These much-diminished reports will undermine efforts by international actors to hold nations accountable and intervene on behalf of vulnerable populations. They reveal that the U.S. no longer stands among the nations of the world which recognize women’s rights as human rights, giving tacit support to countries with deplorable human rights records.”


Because reproductive rights are internationally recognized human rights, it is imperative that the State Department protect the lives of women around the world by recognizing and reporting on these crucial health indicators.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill.