Sign Peace Corps Equity Act Statement of Support
By Jonathan Pearson on Thursday, July 25th, 2013
“It’s time to fix this.” Kygryz Republic RPCV (2008-2010) – Somerville, MA
In just over twelve hours, 500 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs)have signed the Statement of Support for the Peace Corps Equity Act, legislation in the United States Senate that would fix the current inequity through which Peace Corps Volunteers are the only individuals serving our nation overseas who are not allowed abortion services in the narrow circumstances of rape, incest or life endangerment.
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee incorporated the language of the Equity Act in the Fiscal Year 2014 State/Foreign Operations Bill.
Here’s some of the comments from RPCVs around the country:
“Please provide female Peace Corps Volunteers the same grace and dignity to make decisions about their health and future in unfortunate cases of personal violation through sexual assault and in cases where pregnancy would endanger their lives.” Fiji RPCV (1984-1987) – Champaign, IL
“The Peace Corps cannot possibly protect all women who serve abroad from all danger. However, it can provide the best protection possible and medical TLC and choices if someone suffers from pregnancy resulting from rape. No excuse is acceptable.” Namibia RPCV (2005-2007) – North Liberty, IA
“I am a returned Peace Corps who was raped while in service in India. Fortunately, a pregnancy did not follow; unfortunately, I was whisked away to Delhi, allowed to recuperate, and nothing was ever said to me again about the incident. That was unfair. Do not perpetuate this unfairness by denying Peace Corps Volunteers equal health coverage with federal and military personnel representing the U.S. abroad.” India RPCV (1965-1967) – Edenton, NC
“My daughter is leaving soon for Peace Corps Botswana. Advocate for her and all of our daughters and granddaughters!” Kenya RPCV (1985-1987) – Moodus, CT
“I was surprised to learn that Peace Corps Volunteers had lesser benefits in this area than other women working for the federal government. This doesn’t make sense, particularly in light of the fact volunteers often serve in remote areas of the world by themselves.” Malaysia RPCV (1965-1966) – Bozeman, MT
“This option must be available to and paid for peace corps volunteers there is no other option. I speak as a former PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer).” Benin/Ivory Coast/Morocco (1974-1981) – Baltimore, MD
“Our PCV females sometimes face harsh circumstances during their service in developing countries which do not share, even understand, how we as Americans view females as equal partners with males. This Act would give our female PCVs the equality of protection they need.” Zaire (Dem. Rep. of Congo) RPCV (1977-1979) – Havertown, PA