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US Threatened to Veto UN Resolution on Sexual Violence

References to sexual health were removed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2019 5:24 AM CDT
While Nadia Murad Basee Taha, right, listens, Amal Clooney speaks during a Security Council meeting on sexual violence at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, April 23, 2019.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – A United Nations resolution on ending the use of rape as a weapon in war was watered down Tuesday after the US threatened to veto it. References to sexual and reproductive health were dropped because the US felt it implied support for abortion, the BBC reports. The removed passage urged UN entities and donors to provide "non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services" to survivors of sexual violence. French UN ambassador Francois Delattre slammed the omission, saying it was "unacceptable" and "incomprehensible" that the UN is "incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict, and who obviously didn't choose to become pregnant, should have the right to terminate their pregnancy."

The diluted measure passed the Security Council 13-0, with Russia and China abstaining. A European diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian that the US had "switched camp" after decades of supporting women's rights. There is now "an unholy alliance of the US, the Russians, the Holy See, the Saudis, and the Bahrainis, chipping away at the progress that has been made," the diplomat said. At Tuesday's meeting, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urged the Security Council to prosecute ISIS militants for sexual violence in Iraq and Syria, the AP reports. "This is your Nuremberg moment," she said. She was accompanied by last year's Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman kidnapped and raped by ISIS militants in 2014. (Read more United Nations stories.)

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