H 1 Narratives of essentialism and exceptionalism: the challenges and possibilities of using human rights to improve access to safe abortion.
As this special section of Health and Human Rights goes to press, women’s access to sexual and reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, faces both old and new threats in many corners of the world. Among other things, the US government under Donald Trump decided to defund the United Nations Population Fund and to reinstate and expand the so-called Global Gag Rule that prevents any non-US, nongovernmental organization from receiving funds from the United States if they provide not just abortion services but any information regarding abortion, even with other donors’ funds.
The funding crisis provoked by the new administration in the United States is but one facet of the challenges that the rapid ascendancy of conservative populist nationalism has created in relation to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and abortion rights in particular.
In the last couple of years, and especially the last year, the extent to which these conservative forces have consolidated transnational advocacy networks, and political blocs in international spaces, has become dramatically apparent, as evidenced by activity at United Nations (UN) forums as well as some of the transmissions of ideas across national contexts.
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