International Community Must Continue Efforts To Provide Reproductive Health Services Through Humanitarian Response Programs

Devex: Opinion: Rohingya women have suffered enough. They don’t deserve discriminatory health care.
Anu Kumar, interim CEO for Ipas; and Sayed Rubayet, Bangladesh country director for Ipas

“…As the number of women and girls living in humanitarian settings around the world continues to swell, we need more than ever to overcome abortion stigma and step up our efforts to ensure that reproductive health services are integrated into humanitarian response programs. … Starting now, we must make sure that providers trained in safe abortion and postabortion care are available in all humanitarian settings. There must be contraception, including long-acting reversible methods, available in all facilities in those settings. … What’s desperately needed is international consent, support, and funding for making these services available as soon as possible in crisis settings. This is a big challenge, for sure. Women and girls in crisis settings of course need food, clean water, and a safe shelter. They also need essential health care that includes safe abortion and contraception. Human rights are not rooted in any one place, they are portable. When a Rohingya woman flees her home, her basic humanity goes with her — and might be the only thing that can save her life. But only if the world respects her rights and makes them a reality” (12/14).