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[16days_discussion] Fwd: Launch of August 12 Campaign

Margot Baruch mbaruch at
Thu Jul 21 12:02:47 EDT 2011

Please see below for information about the "August 12 Campaign" 
organized by the Global Justice Center.

For more information please contact smorison at


      *Global Justice Center launches "August 12 Campaign" to mark the
      62nd Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions by urging President
      Obama to issue an executive order lifting U.S. abortion
      restrictions on humanitarian aid for girls and women raped in
      armed conflict*

        *July 4th, 2011*

Thousands of girls and women raped and impregnated in armed conflict are 
routinely denied critically needed abortions in places like the 
Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and Sudan, despite hundreds of 
millions of dollars in humanitarian aid made available to victims in 
conflict. These victims are denied abortions for myriad reasons, but one 
major reason is the blanket abortion restrictions the US places on all 
its foreign assistance, including humanitarian aid. These US 
restrictions contain no exceptions for rape or to save the life of the 
woman and have the effect of preventing all foreign governments, NGOs 
and humanitarian aid providers receiving US funds from providing the 
option of abortions to girls and women raped in armed conflict.

In the context of armed conflict, this policy is at odds with the rights 
of girls and women raped in armed conflict to non-discriminatory medical 
care as guaranteed by international humanitarian law, in particular the 
Geneva Conventions. The legal basis for this argument can be found in 
the GJC legal brief "The right to an abortion for girls and women raped 
in armed conflict - States' positive obligations to provide 
non-discriminatory medical care under the Geneva Conventions." A PDF of 
this brief can be found by clicking here 

These overly-broad constraints and the effect they have on the 
distribution of humanitarian aid from countries other than the US have 
not gone unnoticed amidst the global community. On November 5, 2011 
during the Universal Periodic Review of the United States by the UN 
Human Rights Council, Norway recommended that the US "remove its blanket 
abortion restrictions on humanitarian aid covering medical care given to 
women and girls raped and impregnated in situations of armed conflict." 
Furthermore, on March 4, 2011 the Association of the Bar of New York 
City, on behalf of approximately 22,000 members, wrote to President 
Obama urging the Administration to lift the abortion prohibitions put on 
all US humanitarian aid for women and girls survivors of rape in conflict.

*In commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the Geneva Conventions the 
Global Justice Center is coordinating an international "August 12th 
Campaign" encouraging key organizations and individuals around the world 
to send letters to President Obama, asking that he lift the abortion 
restrictions on humanitarian aid for girls and women raped in armed 
conflict via an Executive Order. *

*For more information on these restrictions and the August 12th Campaign 
please click here 
<>. *

*If you or your organization would like to join please contact Sarah 
Morison smorison at 
<mailto:smorison at> Tel: 212-725-6530 Ext. 209 *

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