The Global Justice Center contends that omitting the option of abortion from the medical treatment provided to women raped in war violates their rights under the Geneva Conventions that protect war victims.
"Within three days of taking office, President Obama affirmed that the U.S. would fully support the rights of military detainees under Geneva Conventions," said the center's president Janet Benshoof. "Yet, after five years, the president continues to turn a blind eye to ending the suffering of women victims of war who are forced to bear the children of their rapists, in large part due to the U.S. abortion ban."
The center says many of the rape victims in armed conflicts are minors, with bodies not developed enough to safely bear children. Without the option of safe, legal abortion, says the center, these victims face a high risk of death from illegal abortion, suicide or childbearing.
Doctors Without Borders, which has a policy of accepting no U.S. government funds, is one of the few major international humanitarian organizations with an explicit policy of providing abortions in cases where its doctors feel that's appropriate.
"We have seen time and time again that in the absence of safe abortion care, women will seek to terminate an unwanted pregnancy by other means, and unsafe abortions very often lead to more suffering and even death," the organization said in an email.
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