African countries are trying to liberalize their abortion laws. Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ is making that difficult.
Activists say the policy has forced some countries to take a step backward
March 5, 2020
In 2016, churches in the small southeastern African country of Malawi did something surprising: They backed a law to expand abortion access.
At the time, Reverend Alex Benson Maulana, chair of the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), said that abortion was still a sin. But Malawi was also facing a crisis: In a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, 18 percent of those deaths were due to unsafe abortions.
On Abortion Rights, 2020 Democrats Move Past ‘Safe, Legal and Rare’
The Democratic presidential candidates don’t want to simply defend abortion rights. They want to go on offense.
New York Times
By Maggie Astor
Nov. 25, 2019
The Democratic presidential field has coalesced around an abortion rights agenda more far-reaching than anything past nominees have proposed, according to a New York Times survey of the campaigns. The positions reflect a hugely consequential shift on one of the country’s most politically divisive issues.
Every candidate The Times surveyed supports codifying Roe v. Wade in federal law, allowing Medicaid coverage of abortion by repealing the Hyde Amendment, and removing funding restrictions for organizations that provide abortion referrals. Almost all of them say they would nominate only judges who support abortion rights, an explicit pledge Democrats have long avoided.
2020 could see an end to safe, legal abortion anywhere in America
It’s more crucial than ever to have a president in office who won’t just pay the usual lip service to women’s rights
Mon 18 Nov 2019
If you care about the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices, 2020 is the year that matters.
It’s too late to do anything about the current makeup of the court – except, of course, for women and the people who love them to be very, very loud in our support of abortion rights, and signal that there will be a serious cost if the court overturns or scales back Roe.
The impact of U.S.’s abortion policies on international diplomacy
On August 29, 2019
WIIS Blog, Women Peace & Security
By Hannah Proctor, Research Fellow, WIIS Global
Throughout 2019, conservative states in the U.S. have been adopting increasingly restrictive abortion laws in an effort to undermine, and eventually abolish, the Roe v. Wade decision, which guaranteed the right to abortion based on the right to privacy. These laws and the mindsets that accompany them have far-reaching consequences that go beyond U.S. borders.
Historically, conservative U.S. administrations have relied on two main pieces of legislation to enforce their anti-abortion positions globally:
Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding
Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates say the Helms Amendment's ban on using foreign assistance funds for abortion deserves more attention.
Aug 23, 2019
Abortion rights are a high-profile issue for Democrats on the 2020 presidential campaign trail. Candidates have stated their opposition to abortion funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment and the Trump administration’s expanded global “gag rule.” But little attention has been paid in the race or the media to the Helms Amendment, a ban on foreign assistance funding for abortion.
Rewire.News asked the 2020 candidates about their stance on the anti-choice policy; ten thus far say they oppose it. The Helms Amendment—named for its sponsor, the late-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC)—states, “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” The abortion funding ban was passed as part of the Foreign Assistance Act in 1973 in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion in the United States.
The unintended consequences of US global abortion policy
Trump's funding ban leads to more abortions
By Nina Brooks, Eran Bendavid, and Grant Miller
Wed July 3, 2019
(Also video, 05:07)
(CNN)Few public policy issues are as divisive as abortion -- and to think that all sides could agree on even one aspect would seem naive. But based on our analysis of global data spanning two decades, we argue that there could yet be such an instance if we were to take the evidence seriously.
Our findings published in The Lancet Global Health last Thursday suggest that a major US global abortion policy has striking, important, and unintended consequences in sub-Saharan Africa.
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.
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.
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.
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.”