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


USA – Why the domestic gag rule is bad news

Why the domestic gag rule is bad news

By Meredeth Turshen and Yana van der Meulen Rodgers
09/03/19

On July 15, the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to the Title X family planning program went into effect – and one month later, Planned Parenthood clinics, which together serve about 40 percent of all Title X patients, withdrew from the program en masse. The new rules prohibit providers and staff in Title X-funded clinics like Planned Parenthood from performing some of their core functions: referring patients for abortion, and receiving funds to provide services like cancer and STI screenings while using non-federal funds to finance abortion. Instead, the rule mandates referral for prenatal care and social services like infant or foster care or adoption – effectively denying patients comprehensive counseling about pregnancy options.

Continued: https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/459677-why-the-domestic-gag-rule-is-bad-news


The impact of U.S.’s abortion policies on international diplomacy

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:

Continued: https://www.wiisglobal.org/the-impact-of-u-s-s-abortion-policies-on-international-diplomacy/


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/


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/


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


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