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Newsline: US State Department employees posted overseas call for equal access to reproductive services

More than 200 American foreign service officers are calling on the Biden administration to ensure that they have access to reproductive health services in the countries where they serve. In a letter to State Department leadership in December, which was not released publicly until last week, the diplomats said that they have encountered obstacles to getting reproductive health care in their host countries. “All diplomats, and their family members, deserve the same access to timely, life-saving health care overseas as domestically, and when that is not possible for any reason — including host country law — to be afforded prompt medical evacuation to such care,” they wrote in the letter to Carol Z. Perez, the director general of the Foreign Service. The diplomats said they are “routinely denied access” to such care and have experienced difficulty obtaining family planning services, rape kits, emergency contraceptives and abortion pills. “We deserve access to the same rights we have in our own country when we serve overseas and demand that reproductive rights be guaranteed in the Foreign Affairs Manual,” they said. (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/state-dept-employees-call-equal-access-reproductive-services-overseas-rcna28090) The letter said American diplomats based in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America who experienced reproductive health emergencies were instructed to resort to using local options available to them on their own. The State Department was not immediately available to comment.

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