Kenya – Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central

Standards Are Not Enough: Policy Implementation Remains Central

August 22, 2019
By Melvine P. Ouyo

In 2013, Kenya’s Ministry of Health made the devastating decision to withdraw the Standards and Guidelines for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality from Unsafe Abortion. This caused a huge influx in untrained back street abortions, immense suffering, and the loss of countless lives. After six years of irreversible damage from this decision, Kenya’s High Court issued a clear ruling this summer: the government had violated the rights of Kenyan women and girls by withdrawing the Standards and Guidelines. It was a revolutionary moment for Kenyan communities.

The worldwide movement to give women freedom to choices first culminated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brought diverse views of human rights, population, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and sustainable development. It marked a global consensus that placed human dignity and human rights—including the right to plan a family—at the heart of development.

Continued: https://www.africa.com/standards-are-not-enough-policy-implementation-remains-central/

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How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

August 21, 2019
Prudence Flowers

As the abortion decriminalisation bill gradually makes its way through the NSW parliament, opponents have been increasingly drawing on their long relationship with the right-to-life movement in the United States to lobby against the measure and try to push for more restrictive amendments.

This has been a trend in the anti-abortion movement in Australia for a while now. Activists have adopted some of the most successful elements of the US movement’s rhetoric and tactics in recent years in an effort to influence the debate in Australia.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/how-the-us-right-to-life-movement-is-influencing-the-abortion-debate-in-australia-121974

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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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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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Malawi – ‘There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms’

'There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms'
Organisations around the world have been badly hit by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the so-called global gag rule. Here’s what’s happening in Malawi.

July 13, 2019
Charlotte Ryan reports from Malawi

ANGELA SOUZA CAREFULLY unwraps a large box of condoms, individually packaged in silver foil. There is no branding on each one, though the red-blue-and-white USAID sticker on the side of the box suggests their origin.

In this context, they appear as valuable as silver coins. Rodney Chalera, the programmes manager at the advocacy group where Angela also works in Lilongwe, Malawi, explains that there are times “when the whole country runs out of condoms”. Indeed, by the close of the afternoon, two women had asked for some for the road. Just in case.

Continued: https://www.thejournal.ie/global-gag-order-malawi-4711902-Jul2019/

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Trump’s pick for US representative to the UN is a dangerous anti-abortion fanatic

Trump's pick for US representative to the UN is a dangerous anti-abortion fanatic
Andrew Bremberg is proud of his work expanding the US ‘gag rule’ that hurts women across the world

Bergen Cooper and Beirne Roose-Snyder
Fri 5 Jul 2019

During a fiery hearing with the Senate foreign relations committee last month, Andrew Bremberg, President Trump’s controversial nominee for US representative to the United Nations office in Geneva, declared that victims of rape and sexual violence should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies. Bremberg pledged that, if confirmed, he would vote against any UN resolution outlining fundamental rights for survivors of sexual violence if they include abortion.

Bremberg also took credit for driving the Trump administration’s massive expansion of the global gag rule, or “Mexico City Policy” ...

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/05/trumps-pick-us-representative-to-un-dangerous-anti-abortion-fanatic

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Decoder: Why abortion is more than a political debate

Decoder: Why abortion is more than a political debate
Abortion is wrapped up in politics in many nations including the U.S. But one in four pregnancies ends in abortion, making it a global health issue.

July 3, 2019
By Maggie Fox

Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures globally.

It is grist for a raging political debate in the United States, nearly half a century after the highest court in the country ruled that women have the right to choose whether or not to end a pregnancy.

Continued: https://news-decoder.com/2019/07/03/decoder-abortion/

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Health for All, Except Women? Contestations on Women’s Reproductive Rights at WHA72

Health for All, Except Women? Contestations on Women's Reproductive Rights at WHA72
The document approved by the Security Council by a vote of 13-0, with Russia and China abstaining, had all language relating to “sexual and reproductive health” rights removed.

WHO Watch Team
03 Jul 2019

This year, the World Health Assembly was made a stage for the United States to display its regressive agenda on women’s sexual and reproductive health rights. Not so long ago, in April, the country had already exercised its power in the United Nations Security Council on the same topic. Pressure from the Trump administration has removed references to sexual health from a resolution against sexual violence during conflict. The original resolution, proposed by Germany, said that women who had been raped needed access to safe abortions, as well as reproductive and sexual healthcare. But the document approved by the Security Council by a vote of 13-0, with Russia and China abstaining, had all language relating to “sexual and reproductive health” rights removed.

Continued: https://www.newsclick.in/Health-Women-Russia-China-Sexual-Reproductive

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