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.
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.
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."
'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.
Trump's foreign aid policies endanger women, experts say
“If it was done at the end of a gun, it would be denounced before the International Criminal Court,” the U.N. human rights commissioner said.
July 2, 2019
By Linda Givetash
LONDON — Caroline Nyandat will never forget the day she watched a 14-year-old girl die due to complications from an unsafe abortion.
Nyandat, 36, was then completing her training as a nurse midwife in Kisumu, Kenya, when the teen was in need of surgery but suffered from sepsis before doctors in the hospital could react.
African Women's Rights Groups Dismayed By US Abortion Move
JOHANNESBURG – The United States' relationship with Africa has always been somewhat strained, as unequal match ups often are, and president Donald Trump's abrasive rhetoric towards the region has not helped.
Ironically, however, his administration's crackdown on abortion will likely resonate with most of the continent's political leaders, even as it alienates rights groups which have historically held Washington up as a champion of personal freedoms they accuse African leaders of stifling.
Trump's 'global gag rule' killing women by depriving them of crucial abortion advice, report finds
'Global gag rule reduces access to contraceptives and abortion care, leading to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and preventable deaths,' says campaigner
Jun 6, 2019
The Trump administration’s global gag rule is depriving women of vital information about healthcare, medical treatment and effectively killing them, a damning new report has found.
Donald Trump reinstated a policy known as the Mexico City Policy – also known as the global gag rule – on his fourth day in office which dates back to the Reagan administration. It requires foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that receive US family planning funds to certify they do not provide abortions or give abortion advice.
US global gag rule abortion policy 'killing women': IWHC
5 Jun 2019
Report highlights 'devastating impact' of Trump's reinstatement of ban on foreign aid to groups that discuss abortion.
The Trump administration's reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has "deprived women of essential healthcare" and is "ultimately killing" women worldwide, the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) said in a report released on Wednesday.
"This deadly policy violates the rights of patients and ties the hands of providers," IWHC President Francoise Girard said in a statement. "After two years of implementation, the impact is clear: The Global Gag Rule reduces access to contraceptives and abortion care, leading to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and preventable deaths."
U.S. investigates spam barrage on UN diplomat at women's rights conference
Vice-chair of UN conference inundated with 3,000 anti-abortion text messages in 12 languages, disrupting event
Melissa Kent · CBC News
Posted: May 05, 2019
U.S. officials have opened an investigation after a female diplomat faced a barrage of anti-abortion text messages from an advocacy group, disrupting a major UN summit on women's rights.
Koki Muli Grignon, Kenya's deputy ambassador to the UN, received about 3,000 anti-abortion text messages in 12 languages during meetings at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March.
Trump Administration Expands Assault on Global Abortion Access
April 18, 2019
Nina Besser Doorley
In March, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced two significant escalations in the Trump administration’s attacks on sexual and reproductive rights globally: a new expansion to the already-devastating Global Gag Rule and the unprecedented use of the Siljander Amendment to attack funding for a multilateral organization, the Organization of American States.
While the latest expansion to the Global Gag Rule has been well publicized, the use of the Siljander Amendment—an obscure legislative provision that prohibits the use of US funds for abortion-related lobbying—to cut more than $200,000 in US funding to the Organization of American States (OAS) has received less attention. Nonetheless, the use of this provision sets a dangerous precedent by attempting to force global human rights bodies to bow to US political pressure.
The Global Gag Rule Has Put Women in Danger for Decades. Here’s How We Can Stop It.
The Global HER Act would remove reckless restrictions on international recipients of U.S. funding.
Feb 7, 2019
Vanessa Rios & Nina Besser Doorley
On January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated the “global gag rule,” singlehandedly undermining women’s health worldwide with a stroke of his pen. The policy prohibits any U.S. global health funding to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that provide, counsel, refer, or advocate for abortion—even with their own funds—resulting in life-threatening consequences.
While previous iterations of the global gag rule covered only family planning spending, President Trump expanded it to cover all global health funds—a staggering $9 billion per year to NGOs that cover a range of health needs, from maternal and child health to malaria treatment. Even in its more limited forms, the policy backfired, increasing unintended pregnancies, maternal mortality, and unsafe abortions. Evidence suggests that the current version is producing a similar effect on an even larger scale.