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Trump team is threatening to block a resolution against rape at the UN

The Trump administration is standing in the way of supporting rape survivors.

By Dan Desai Martin - April 23, 2019
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Donald Trump at UN
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.

The United States is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution aimed at combatting rape as a weapon of war, several media outlets reported Monday night, because it would include helping survivors obtain proper health care after being raped.

Specifically, the Trump administration opposes references to “sexual and reproductive health,” which could include abortion. And the Trump administration is staunchly opposed to abortion, even for girls who are raped by soldiers as a way to demoralize opponents in a conflict.

According to documents obtained by CNN, even the term “health services” may go too far for the Trump administration.

Another line that went over the line for Trump’s team: that the U.N. “further encourages support to and training of journalists on sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations and gender inequality.”

“We are not even sure whether we are having the resolution tomorrow, because of the threats of a veto from the U.S.,” Pramila Patten, the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, told the Guardian on Monday night.

The Trump administration’s extremist views on sexual and reproductive health is no secret. Trump reinstated the anti-women global gag rule shortly after taking office, and it was expanded in 2019. While U.S. law prevents U.S. foreign aid money from being used to perform abortions, the global gag rule goes even further. It prevents foreign aid from going to any organization that even talks about abortion, meaning health care groups that provide information about HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health services can lose their funding, which means the global gag rule will result in “20,000 maternal deaths, 4.8 million unintended pregnancies and 1.7 million unsafe abortions,” according to the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.

In addition to their anti-abortion views, the soft-on-rape stance is also nothing new for the Trump administration. After all, Trump nominated and championed alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Trump repeatedly mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who survived Kavanaugh’s alleged attempted rape.

Now the administration’s radical policies threaten to tank a global resolution to help rape survivors.

An unnamed European diplomat laid the blame squarely on Trump.

“Until the Trump administration, we could always count on the Americans to help us defend it,” the diplomat told the Guardian. “Now the Americans have switched camp.” the diplomat told the Guardian.

The United States used to be in the camp that supported survivors of sexual violence. With Trump, the United States is now in the camp that opposes survivors.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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