Domestic political alliances with conservative forces in the US is costing women their health at home and abroad

Domestic political alliances with conservative forces in the US is costing women their health at home and abroad

BMJ Opinion
August 19, 2019

The Trump administration’s ideological commitment to the domestic anti-abortion lobby is endangering women across the Americas, say Hani Serag et al

The history of the “Global Gag Rule” is one of tragic irony and misguided energy from conservative foreign policy elements within the United States. The Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, restricts the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in developing countries that receive USAID family planning from engaging in abortion-related activities, including advocacy, regardless of the funding source for these activities. It is even more ironic that abortion rates increase where the Global Gag Rule disrupts family planning services. [1] Inability to access safe abortions does little to prevent women from seeking unsafe abortions which harm the wellbeing of women. [2] Although this is well-documented, one of the first things that Donald Trump did when he became President was to sign an executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule. In March 2019, the Trump administration expanded the rule. Previously it only applied to family planning assistance ($575 million in FY2016) but the expanded law includes all “global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies”⁠— an estimated $9.5 billion or 16-fold increase in restricted funding. [3] A recent report shows the impact of this rule and the detrimental effect that it is having on women and girls.

Continued: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/08/19/domestic-political-alliances-with-conservative-forces-in-the-us-is-costing-women-their-health-at-home-and-abroad/

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Trump’s worldwide war on abortion

Trump's worldwide war on abortion
The Trump administration's anti-abortion measures threaten the lives of women across the world, especially the poor.

Belen Fernandez
29 Jul 2019

"Population control", as defined by the Collins English Dictionary, is "a policy of attempting to limit the growth in numbers of a population, esp[ecially] in poor or densely populated parts of the world, by programmes of contraception or sterilisation".

The current "pro-life" regime of United States President Donald Trump, of course, is no fan of such programmes. But it is all about controlling human populations and behaviour worldwide in accordance with unhinged religio-imperialist visions - many of them especially damaging to the poor.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/trump-worldwide-war-abortion-190729093420685.html

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Part 1: how anti-abortion activism is exploiting data

Part 1: how anti-abortion activism is exploiting data

Monday, July 22, 2019

Intrusive data collection software and digital marketing systems are being developed and promulgated around the world by powerful and politically connected US-based anti-abortion organisations.

As anti-abortion organisations wake up to the utility of personal data to tailor and target messages online, data-intensive technologies and tools are being specifically developed for crisis pregnancy centres – which reportedly sometimes masquerade as licensed medical facilities and which have been criticised for providing those seeking medical help with false and misleading information.

Continued: https://www.privacyinternational.org/long-read/3096/part-1-how-anti-abortion-activism-exploiting-data

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UK aid to help prevent unsafe abortions

UK aid to help prevent unsafe abortions
New UK aid funding will help prevent deaths from unsafe abortion around the world.

Published 18 July 2019
From: Department for International Development and Baroness Sugg CBE

New UK aid support for the Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) will give some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women and girls access to safe abortion.

It will also give urgent care and counselling for women dealing with the often devastating consequences of unsafe abortion and improve their access to contraception and family planning services.

Continued: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-aid-to-help-prevent-unsafe-abortions

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We must hold the line against the rollback of women’s rights

We must hold the line against the rollback of women’s rights

Baroness Sugg
18 July 2019

Anne* was 14 years old when she was raped walking to visit her grandmother. When she missed her period, she realised she was pregnant. Her grandmother took her to a local herbalist who gave her some herbs to induce an abortion. Anne started bleeding heavily.

Luckily a counsellor arrived, explained what was happening and told her grandmother Anne needed to be rushed to a health centre, where her life was saved.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/must-hold-line-against-rollback-womens-rights/

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The Economic Effects of Abortion Access: A Review of the Evidence

The Economic Effects of Abortion Access: A Review of the Evidence

Anna Bernstein, M.P.H., Kelly Jones, Ph.D.
July 18, 2019

Highlights

A large body of research has examined the effects of abortion access on fertility and health outcomes. A number of studies have also established associations between abortion access and economic outcomes. This paper summarizes a smaller body of literature that identifies the causal impacts of abortion access on economic outcomes, indicating how women’s economic security is directly affected by access to abortion.

Continued: https://iwpr.org/publications/economic-effects-abortion-access-report/

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Pregnant Women Overseas Lose Access to Pre-Natal Care Due to Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

Pregnant Women Overseas Lose Access to Pre-Natal Care Due to Trump's 'Global Gag Rule'

By Brian Padden
July 18, 2019

WASHINGTON - Medical providers say some pregnant women in developing countries have lost access to prenatal health care because of the Trump administration’s expanded “global gag rule” that cut aid to international organizations involved in abortion-related activities.

A recent study in the Lancet Global Health journal also reports that abortions actually increased in Africa when these aid restrictions were enacted in the past.

Continued: https://www.voanews.com/usa/us-politics/pregnant-women-overseas-lose-access-pre-natal-care-due-trumps-global-gag-rule

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How Trump’s latest efforts to stop abortion increasingly undermine global health

How Trump's latest efforts to stop abortion increasingly undermine global health
Canada recently committed a record amount toward safe abortion services. Will that be enough to combat the impacts of the US' revised ‘global gag rule’?

By: Urooba Jamal
July 16, 2019

The dilemma for a health organization is hard to fathom.

In 2018, two young women died at the hands of knitting needles and other everyday objects in Kenya, where seven women die each day in an attempt to induce an abortion on their own, bereft of safer options.

Even two years earlier, their deaths might have been prevented. But a local organization that would have previously referred them to abortion provision services was forced to choose between giving sexual and reproductive healthcare advice or signing a “global gag rule” and stopping that program, in order to continue to provide HIV services to its 10,000 clients.

Continued: https://www.opencanada.org/features/how-trumps-efforts-to-stop-abortion-are-undermining-global-health-programs/

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Abortion Law: Global Comparisons

Abortion Law: Global Comparisons
A recent spate of state laws to restrict abortion services in the United States has reignited debate over the procedure. How does the United States’ regulation of abortion compare to the rest of the world?

by Rachel B. Vogelstein and Rebecca Turkington
July 15, 2019

The past fifty years have been characterized by an unmistakable trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws, particularly in the industrialized world. Amid ongoing debate over the procedure, the trend has coincided with a drop in abortion rates worldwide. As nations across the globe have expanded the grounds on which women can access reproductive health services, the quality and safety of abortion care has improved, as has maternal survival.

Abortion rates are relatively similar between countries with highly restrictive abortion laws and those where the procedure is permitted without restriction, at between 34 and 37 per 1,000 women annually [PDF], but the safety of the procedure diverges widely: almost 90 percent of abortions in countries with liberal abortion laws are considered safe, compared with only 25 percent of those in countries in which abortion is banned.

Continued: https://www.cfr.org/article/abortion-law-global-comparisons

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An Update on Abortion Pills From the World Health Organization Undermines How the U.S. Regulates Them

An Update on Abortion Pills From the World Health Organization Undermines How the U.S. Regulates Them
The update may make mifepristone and misoprostol more readily available worldwide. But in the U.S., not much is expected to change.

Francie Diep
Jul 15, 2019

Abortion pills should be widely available and affordable, and don't need to be dispensed by highly trained specialists or in specialty facilities, according to a World Health Organization update published last week.

Abortions induced by taking pills are the safest type available. The recommended regimen is two pills, containing the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. The pills work best on early stage pregnancies, around 10 weeks' gestation or less. The WHO has considered mifepristone and misoprostol "essential medicines" since 2005, but in the recent update, WHO experts decided that they had enough scientific evidence to strike the caveat saying the medications require "close medical supervision."

Continued: https://psmag.com/social-justice/an-update-on-abortion-pills-from-the-who-undermines-how-the-us-regulates-them

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