Registered charity no.1040450 England
Limited company registered no.2959883


UK government commits to legal right to abortion after conflict rape

Date: 20 January 2013
Source: Global Justice Center

In a speech in the House of Lords, a UK government spokesperson has acknowledged that girls and women raped in armed conflict have absolute legal rights to comprehensive medical care, including abortions when medically necessary, under the Geneva Conventions. 

The UK follows Norway as the second country in calling to ensure abortions are part of medical treatment for women raped in war. The statement confirms that international humanitarian law, not national abortion laws, is the legal standard to be followed when treating victims of war rape. The UK government has officially asked the US government to reinterpret the Helms Amendment abortion restrictions put on foreign aid to allow for abortions for women raped in armed conflict and has affirmed that all recipients of UK humanitarian aid funding must use that funding in compliance with international humanitarian law, where applicable.

The full transcript of the debate can be accessed here.