House Democrats move to permanently restore funding for abortion access abroad

By Laura Kelly
07/06/20

House Democrats are working to repeal restrictions imposed by the Trump administration that block U.S. foreign aid from helping fund programs that provide women access to an abortion as part of a $66 billion spending bill.

The proposal, part of the House Appropriations Committee's annual State and Foreign Operations bill, would permanently repeal the Trump administration’s “Global Gag Rule,” also known as the Mexico City Policy, that prevents any U.S. funding from going to any international organization that acknowledges abortion as a possible treatment.

Continued: https://thehill.com/policy/international/506028-house-democrats-move-to-permanently-restore-funding-for-abortion-access


Strong words and action needed to protect women’s lives during this pandemic

Jul 2, 2020
By Avril Benoît, executive director for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA)

As world leaders attempt to tackle an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises, many of them deepened beyond imagination by the coronavirus pandemic, the United States is throwing its weight around on the global stage to obstruct lifesaving aid efforts.

The Trump Administration appears intent on blocking international efforts and resolutions containing these critically important words: sexual and reproductive health.

Continued:  https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/news-stories/news/strong-words-and-action-needed-protect-womens-lives-during-pandemic


US asks for abortion references to be removed from UN pandemic response plan

US asks for abortion references to be removed from UN pandemic response plan

By Kylie Atwood, CNN
Tue May 19, 2020

Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is urging the United Nations secretary general to remove any references to reproductive health, including abortions, from the UN's humanitarian response plan to the coronavirus pandemic to "avoid creating controversy."

"The United States stands with nations that have pledged to protect the unborn," acting Administrator of USAID John Barsa wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres on Monday. "To achieve global unity toward this goal, it is essential that the UN's response to the pandemic avoid creating controversy. Therefore, I ask that you remove references to 'sexual and reproductive health,' and its derivatives from the Global HRP, and drop the provision of abortion as an essential component of the UN's priorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/19/politics/us-abortion-un-pandemic-response/index.html


African countries are trying to liberalize their abortion laws. Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ is making that difficult.

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

Abigail Higgins
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.

Continued: https://www.thelily.com/african-countries-are-trying-to-liberalize-their-abortion-laws-trumps-global-gag-rule-is-making-that-difficult/


Win or Lose, Trump’s Policies on Women’s Health Inflict Damage

Win or Lose, Trump’s Policies on Women’s Health Inflict Damage

February 25, 2020
by Barbara Crossette

Whether or not Donald Trump will be re-elected president on Nov. 3, a tough debate is likely to begin soon in the United States Congress over the national budget for the unpredictable year ahead. Reproductive health issues rank high on the agenda for women’s rights advocates.

Trump’s proposed budget would continue to restrict funds for reproductive health sharply, including family planning, to suit the antichoice crowd that is apparently considered an important vote bank. These funds, moreover, would be limited to bilateral aid to allies and other supportive nations. These “friends of Trump” are expected to be active in the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women, beginning on March 9 at the United Nations in New York. They include Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, some diplomats say.

Continued: https://www.passblue.com/2020/02/25/win-or-lose-trumps-policies-on-womens-health-inflict-damage/


On Abortion Rights, 2020 Democrats Move Past ‘Safe, Legal and Rare’

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.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/25/us/politics/abortion-laws-2020-democrats.html


UK announce £600m aid for family planning as US ramps up anti-abortion stance

UK announce £600m aid for family planning as US ramps up anti-abortion stance

Sarah Newey, Global Health Security Correspondent
23 September 2019

Britain announced a £600 million aid package for women's sexual and reproductive health and rights at the United Nations on Monday in the face of opposition from the United States.

Alok Sharma, the UK’s International Development Secretary, told delegates the UK would promote and defend “women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights” – despite the Trump administration circulating a letter calling for the phrase to be dropped on the grounds that it was being interpreted as a new international right to abortion.

Continued: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/women-and-girls/uk-announce-600m-aid-family-planning-us-ramps-anti-abortion/


At U.N., Trump Administration Professes ‘No International Right To An Abortion’

At U.N., Trump Administration Professes 'No International Right To An Abortion'

September 23, 2019
Sarah McCammon

The Trump administration is calling on U.N. member nations to oppose efforts to promote access to abortion internationally, a move immediately criticized by reproductive rights groups seeking greater access to the services globally.

At a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke on behalf of the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries stating that abortion is not an international human right.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763496171/at-u-n-trump-administration-professes-no-international-right-to-an-abortion


How US government restrictions on foreign aid for abortion services backfired

How US government restrictions on foreign aid for abortion services backfired

Sep 2019, Policy Brief
By Grant Miller, Eran Bendavid, and Nina Brooks

Abortion is an issue that stirs up deeply felt passions and seems to offer little basis for compromise. But there is one thing that both sides of the debate agree on — fewer abortions are better. The pro-life side opposes abortion in principle, while pro-choice advocates generally hold that preventing unwanted pregnancies is preferable to terminating them.

That shared outlook could provide common ground on one of the most important federal initiatives concerning abortion — the Mexico City Policy. This executive order, announced in 1984 by the Reagan administration at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, requires all foreign nongovernmental organizations that get U.S. family planning assistance to certify they will not perform abortions or provide counseling about the procedure.

Continued: https://siepr.stanford.edu/research/publications/how-us-government-restrictions-foreign-aid-abortion-services-backfired


USA – How billionaire philanthropy provides reproductive health care when politicians won’t

How billionaire philanthropy provides reproductive health care when politicians won’t
How philanthropists brought us modern contraception — and where we’d be without them.

By Kelsey Piper
Sep 17, 2019

There’s a new backlash against billionaire philanthropy. Some of its leading voices have argued that “every billionaire is a policy failure” and that it’d be better if billionaires didn’t exist at all — even if that meant the disappearance of philanthropy by billionaires.

The conversation has done a lot of valuable work, encouraging more scrutiny of charitable activity, pointing out where philanthropy is a fig leaf for misconduct, and forcing institutions to grapple with when it’s wrong to accept money that was unethically acquired.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/9/17/20754970/billionaire-philanthropy-reproductive-health-care-politics