State Department cutting language on women's rights, discrimination in annual report

State Department cutting language on women's rights, discrimination in annual report
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The State Department is reportedly cutting back language regarding women's rights and discrimination in a report that will be released in the future. 

Officials at the department have been told to trim parts of the annual report on global human rights that talk about family planning and the amount of access women have to contraceptives and abortion, Politico reported, citing five former and current officials.

The officials added that the department had been ordered to trim sections relating to racial, ethnic and sexual discrimination.


According to Politico, the directive came from a top aide to Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHouse passes legislation to elevate cybersecurity at the State Department Biden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet With salami-slicing and swarming tactics, China's aggression continues MORE.

A current State Department official told the news outlet that the directive "sends a clear signal that women's reproductive rights are not a priority for this administration, and that it's not even a rights violation we must or should report on."

The annual report includes information from U.S. embassies and is used by U.S. lawmakers and political activists, among others.

In the past, reports have included extensive detail on women's reproductive rights, Politico reported.

In this year's soon-to-be released report, the section previously called "Reproductive Rights" will also be changed to "Coercion in Population Control," according to Politico.

A spokeswoman from the State Department said that changes were made for "clarity."

The way in which the department “presents the report's material has changed from time to time,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"This year we are better focusing some sections of the report for clarity,” she added, noting the department is not “downgrading coverage of LGBT or women's issues.”

She also said an effort was made not to duplicate statistics that are "readily available from international organizations," adding that the changes “will sharpen the focus of the report on abuses of internationally recognized human rights and the most egregious issues.”