The Trump administration’s opposition to abortion has led to the watering-down of a UN resolution on ending sexual violence in war.

 

The US removed all references to sexual and reproductive health.

 

The Security Council resolution, submitted by Germany, dropped all such references. The US, along with China and Russia, had threatened to veto it.

 

The Trump administration opposed a phrase on the grounds that it implies support for abortion.

 

The amended resolution passed 13-0, with Russia and China abstaining.

 

French UN ambassador Francois Delattre was scathing of the decision to exclude the reference to sexual health, saying it undermined the dignity of women.

 

“It is intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council 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,” he said.

 

The removed phrase read: “Recognizing the importance of providing timely assistance to survivors of sexual violence, urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, in line with Resolution 2106.”

 

This line was thought to be a compromise from an earlier version, which included a more detailed description of the health services, “including sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial, legal, and livelihood support”.

 

This language had been used before in previous resolutions related to sexual violence, US media report.

 

But while it urges improved justice for victims, the final version also removed a reference to a UN monitoring body that would report acts of sexual violence.

 

The initial resolution had garnered widespread support. Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney attended Tuesday’s Security Council meeting and urged members to vote in favour.

 

“This is your Nuremberg moment,” Mrs Clooney said. “Your chance to stand on the right side of history.”

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