Pointing to countless examples from countries around the globe, reproductive rights organizations highlighted how in just two years, President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the anti-choice global gag rule has done serious damage to the health of women and families in some of the neediest communities in the world.
“Those hardest hit by the impact of this policy will be people who already face systemic barriers to accessing care, who are underrepresented in the halls of power in the national and international stage—women, young people, people living with HIV, LGBTQ people, and sex workers to name but a few.” —Planned Parenthood Global
The rule, officially known as the Mexico City Policy, cuts off U.S. funding for global health organizations that offer abortion care and counseling. The reestablishment of the policy was one of Trump’s first actions as president in January 2017. Echoing their calls when the policy was first reinstated, rights groups are sounding alarms about the vital health services that have been taken away from communities, as they call for an end to the global gag rule.
“The truth is that the effects of the global gag rule will be far reaching and deadly,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, executive director of Planned Parenthood Global, in a statement. “We’ve seen the impact of these policies for women around the world.”
“The #GlobalGagRule that Trump signed into policy two years ago is closing clinics around the world, putting real lives at risk,” the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet tweeted. “We support…all efforts to repeal this disgraceful policy.”
The Guardian shared the story of one health clinic in the Rufunsa district of Zambia, where staffers recorded twice as many teen pregnancies in 2018 as they did in 2017. The uptick follows the pulling of funding for HIV testing, contraceptive counseling, and condom distribution, all of which Planned Parenthood of Zambia had provided before November 2017. The group lost half its operating budget—about $3.8 million—due to the global gag rule.
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