International Law Demands the U.S. Do Better on Abortion Policy

International Law Demands the U.S. Do Better on Abortion Policy

February 11, 2019
by Danielle Hites

Within days of assuming office in 2017, President Trump re-instated and expanded the Global Gag Rule, which restricts funding for international organizations that provide or “promote” abortions. Two years later, feminist lawmakers serving in the now Democratic-led House kicked off their own terms by attempting to roll it back.

Pending legislation to establish a budget and keep the government open beyond the three week negotiation period includes a provision that would protect NGOs from being categorically defunded, effectively rescinding the Global Gag Rule. The House spending bill would render health and medical services of such organizations, including counseling and referral services, as insufficient for the sole basis for ineligibility for U.S. funding, and allow NGOs to use non-U.S. funding with fewer regulations.

Continued: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2019/02/11/international-law-demands-u-s-better-abortion-policy/

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Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has harmful effects for women, men, and children

Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has harmful effects for women, men, and children

Jan 11, 2019
Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Ernestina Coast, and Nicky Armstrong

Two years ago this month, President Trump reinstated and expanded the global gag rule – the perennial Republican policy which cuts US funding for any organisation worldwide which offers abortion services or counselling. Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Ernestina Coast and Nicky Armstrong argue that not only will the measure – which covers a pot of nearly $10 billion in funding for NGOs – be ineffective in reducing the number of abortions, it will also harm women’s’ reproductive health as well as making other crucial health services less available to women, men, and children around the world.

Who influences whether women in poorer countries can access abortions and other sexual health services? It may surprise you, but the US president has an important part to play. This is because of the so called “global gag rule”(GGR), a US foreign policy that cuts family planning and reproductive health assistance to any healthcare provider overseas which offers and provides abortions.

Continued: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2019/01/11/trumps-reinstatement-and-expansion-of-the-global-gag-rule-has-harmful-effects-for-women-men-and-children/

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How Bangladesh Made Abortion Safer

How Bangladesh Made Abortion Safer
The government’s effort to help Rohingya victims of wartime rape has lessons for the world.

By Patrick Adams
Dec. 28, 2018

No one knows how many Rohingya became pregnant as a result of rape by the Myanmar military. No one knows how many babies were born to survivors of sexual violence living among the 750,000 Rohingya in camps in Bangladesh.

The systematic sexual violence against the Rohingya reminded many in Bangladesh of their own painful history: During Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971, the Pakistani military and local collaborators killed about 300,000 civilians and raped and tortured as many as 400,000 women and girls.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/opinion/rohingya-bangladesh-abortion.html

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The American Taliban

The American Taliban
Our equally extreme evangelical vice president Mike Pence also believes our laws should be based on the bible.

Published on Sunday, October 28, 2018
by Common Dreams
by Bob Topper

If you believe in the separation of church and state, then you probably think that evangelicals exert far too much influence on American life, our politics, and culture. When I remarked to a friend that evangelicals are the America’s answer to the Taliban, he thought the comparison was too harsh. After all, he said, “Evangelicals don’t go around killing people.”

Maybe not, but the beliefs they hold and the positions they take can have deadly consequences. Take the evangelical position on abortion, which has had a major effect on national foreign policy. The Helms Amendment, first enacted in 1973, provides that no US funds “may be used to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/28/american-taliban

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How Trump’s anti-abortion agenda impacts women around the world

How Trump's anti-abortion agenda impacts women around the world

By Kara Fox and Henrik Pettersson, CNN
May 24, 2018

For more than 50 years, the United States Agency for International Development has been the largest financial supporter of women's reproductive health services in the world's poorest countries, with funding contributing to programs that have lowered maternal mortality rates, unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

But health-care workers in the world's least developed countries have expressed concern that an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump shortly after he took office last year has left women without access to free contraception, with many turning instead to unsafe abortions.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/24/health/contraceptives-abortion-charts-global-gag-rule-asequals-intl/index.html

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Trump’s Domestic Gag Rule Will Silence, Shame, and Stigmatize Women

Trump’s Domestic Gag Rule Will Silence, Shame, and Stigmatize Women

May 22, 2018
Anu Kumar

The Trump Administration’s domestic gag policy is another anti-choice attack on the rights of women. “Domestic gag rule” is no misnomer; like its global predecessor, this new policy will force U.S. groups to make the same basic choice—between critical funding and providing essential care to women.

While we won’t have details of the policy until it is released, administration officials have suggested that it will force recipients of federal family planning funding to physically separate their abortion services from the services funded by Title X. That means 4 million people will be affected, many of whom are low-income women of color who utilize the Title X program to obtain family planning-related services. It is also expected that the rule will do away with a requirement that providers offer all options during pregnancy counseling and will ban referrals for abortions.

continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/05/22/trumps-domestic-gag-rule-will-silence-shame-stigmatize-women/

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Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 1

Exporting Censorship: How U.S. Restrictions on Abortion Speech and Funding Violate International Law, Part 1
May 7, 2018
Akila Radhakrishnan & Kristin Smith

Part 1: The Helms Amendment and Freedom of Speech

This is the first of a two-part post exploring how U.S. restrictions on abortion-related speech, activities, and funding violate U.S. human rights obligations under the ICCPR. Although much attention is rightfully paid to the devastating impact of the reimposed Global Gag Rule, the Helms and Siljander Amendments (which have been permanently in place since the 1970s) often command less consideration. These restrictions are discussed separately here in order to illustrate their unique effects on freedoms of speech and association. However, Helms, Siljander and the Global Gag Rule all fall short of the ICCPR’s requirements and therefore violate freedoms of speech and association in complex ways, as examined in more detail in the Global Justice Center’s recent brief. This post explores how the Helms and Siljander Amendments fail to meet the ICCPR’s standards for lawful restrictions on the freedom of speech. Part Two will focus on the Global Gag Rule and its violation of the freedom of association.

Continued: https://ilg2.org/2018/05/07/exporting-censorship-how-u-s-restrictions-on-abortion-speech-and-funding-violate-international-law-part-1/

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The Roadmap to Safe Abortion Worldwide: Lessons from New Global Trends on Incidence, Legality and Safety

The Roadmap to Safe Abortion Worldwide: Lessons from New Global Trends on Incidence, Legality and Safety

Sneha Barot
Guttmacher Institute
First published online: March 20, 2018

The Trump administration and social conservatives in Congress are engaged in broad-based attacks on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and globally. In the international sphere, the administration has imposed and expanded the global gag rule and defunded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), while calling for outright elimination of all U.S. international family planning aid during its first year in office (see “When Antiabortion Ideology Turns into Foreign Policy: How the Global Gag Rule Erodes Health, Ethics and Democracy,” 2017, and “The Benefits of Investing in International Family Planning—and the Price of Slashing Funding,” 2017). At the heart of these attacks is an extreme animus toward abortion rights. Advocates for women’s health fear that these attacks will roll back improvements in sexual and reproductive health services that were built over decades. This is especially true in developing regions where unsafe abortion is a serious public health issue and the limited progress to date is in jeopardy.

continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2018/03/roadmap-safe-abortion-worldwide-lessons-new-global-trends-incidence-legality-and-safety

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World

The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE

By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018

Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-global-gag-rule-is-harming-women-around-the-world-exclusive-8245633

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Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls

Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls
Jan 23, 2018
Hayley Farless

As advocates and researchers have seen, it is African women and girls who are suffering because of the United States’ interference with reproductive autonomy globally.

Just three days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum to reinstate and expand the “global gag rule,” a Reagan-era, anti-abortion, foreign policy directive, with the backing of Vice President Mike Pence. Because of this policy, any nongovernmental organization (NGO) outside of the United States that provides abortion procedures, participates in pro-choice advocacy, supplies information about abortion, or offers referrals to abortion providers has been forced to choose between forfeiting U.S. foreign assistance funding or ceasing to provide the basic reproductive health services that its patients need.

The global gag rule, also known as the “Mexico City Policy,” goes beyond just blocking U.S. funding for critical reproductive health services. A Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) research report notes that this policy also restricts what groups receiving U.S. funds can do with money from all other sources; organizations must subject all their funds to the same restrictions or lose U.S. funding.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/23/trump-pence-administrations-neocolonial-assault-reproductive-freedom-killing-african-women-girls/

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