USA – Everything You Need to Know About the Helms Amendment’s Restriction on Abortion Funding

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
Ally Boguhn

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.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/08/23/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-helms-amendments-restriction-on-abortion-funding/

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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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The unintended consequences of US global abortion policy

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.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/03/opinions/us-global-abortion-policy-brooks-bendavid-miller/index.html

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Trump’s foreign aid policies endanger women, experts say

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.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/trump-s-foreign-aid-policies-endanger-women-experts-say-n1018056

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Global gag rule linked to abortion rise in African countries that accept US aid

Global gag rule linked to abortion rise in African countries that accept US aid
Study finds Trump-backed policy led to increase in pregnancies and reduction in use of modern contraceptives

Miranda Bryant in New York
Thu 27 Jun 2019

A US government policy that restricts funding to organisations that conduct or support abortions has been linked to a 40% increase in terminations in African countries that depend on American foreign aid, according to new research.

The study, published on Thursday in The Lancet Global Health, also found that implementation of the policy resulted in a reduction of the use of modern contraceptives and an increase in pregnancies.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jun/27/global-gag-rule-africa-abortion-study

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