Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Human Rights at Home Blog (Dec. 8, 2015): Abortion Providers Are Human Rights Defenders, by Cynthia Soohoo:
Has anti-choice propaganda led to an increase in violence and attacks on abortion clinics? Following the tragic attack on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, the news has focused on the impact of videos released by the Center for Medical Progress and political rhetoric targeting Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, the New York Times and Washington Post have published pieces trying to figure out what motivated Robert Dear, Jr.
But, regardless of how the media depicts this latest act of violence, it’s clear that there’s a long and well-documented history of attacks on abortion clinics and providers. The Colorado shooting should remind us of the dedication and bravery of abortion providers who daily face intimidation, threats and harassment designed to prevent women from accessing health services and rob them of their right to make their own reproductive rights decisions. For their work, abortion providers are often stigmatized, but they should be acknowledged as human rights defenders.
The blog quotes from articles profiling abortion providers to understand why despite physical threats, harassment and threats to their livelihood, abortion providers remain committed to providing care to women. The international community has recognized abortion providers as human rights defenders because they provide services to ensure that women can exercise their reproductive rights.