South Africa – It takes more than pro-choice laws to end deaths from unsafe abortions

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It takes more than pro-choice laws to end deaths from unsafe abortions
South Africa legalised abortion in 1997. Yet so few clinics offer them that women still risk their lives by turning to illegal means

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
Wed 6 Jun 2018

I have been an abortion provider for as long as I have been a qualified doctor. In the past five years, I have been inundated with emails, social media requests and calls from women from all walks of life desperate for my help.

I will never forget one young woman who came to the public clinic in the West Rand township near Johannesburg, panicking about massive blood loss from her vagina. It was only after some prompting that she and a family member admitted to using abortion pills purchased outside a shopping centre. She bought the pills after being denied an abortion by the local clinic, where health workers told her “We don’t do those things here,” and shamed her for being young and sexually active.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/06/pro-choice-laws-deaths-unsafe-abortions-south-africa-dr-tlaleng-mofokeng

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Kenyan Clinic Rejects Trump Abortion Policy, Loses $2 Million In U.S. Aid

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Kenyan Clinic Rejects Trump Abortion Policy, Loses $2 Million In U.S. Aid

May 2, 2018
Sasha Ingber

On January 23, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that bans U.S. aid to any health organization in another country that provides abortions, advocates or makes referrals for the procedure.

The full impact of the order won't be felt until September. That's when the U.S. government fiscal year comes to an end. At that point, every international organization that does not comply with the order will be excluded from U.S. funding, says Marjorie Newman-Williams, president of Marie Stopes International-US, an organization that provides contraception and safe abortion in dozens of countries.

Continued: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/05/02/604425181/kenyan-clinic-rejects-trump-abortion-policy-loses-2-million-in-u-s-aid

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UK aid official offers ‘loud and strong’ support for access to abortion worldwide

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UK aid official offers 'loud and strong' support for access to abortion worldwide

By Sophie Edwards
09 March 2018

LONDON — A top United Kingdom aid official has reassured advocates that the Department for International Development remains a “loud and strong voice for universal access to sexual and reproductive health” services, including abortion, for women and girls in developing countries.

Speaking at the launch of a new report from the U.K. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, which calls for the U.K. government to support safe abortion at home and abroad, international development minister Alistair Burt said:

Continued: https://www.devex.com/news/uk-aid-official-offers-loud-and-strong-support-for-access-to-abortion-worldwide-92282

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Trump’s Abortion Gag Rule Is Hurting Reproductive Rights Around the Globe

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Trump’s Abortion Gag Rule Is Hurting Reproductive Rights Around the Globe
This administration’s version of the Global Gag Rule could impact up to 26 million women worldwide.

By Michelle Chen
March 6, 2018

In January, women marked one year of Trump’s presidency by rallying in protest, showing they refused to be silenced by Trump’s oppressive regime. But January also saw the first anniversary of the Global Gag rule, the administration’s ban on international-aid funding for groups linked to abortion-related family-planning services.

The gag rule does not directly ban abortion-related services in aid-receiving communities but, rather, links major funding from USAID to strict rules on avoiding facilitation or promotion of abortion in any way. USAID is currently a dominant contributor to global family-planning programs, supporting some $600 million in grants for service providers within a multibillion-dollar framework of global health aid. Trump’s gag rule revives Reagan-era strictures on services, and expands them an estimated 16 times, according to the Global Fund for Women.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/trumps-abortion-gag-rule-is-hurting-reproductive-rights-around-the-globe/

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Malaysai – Yes! SheDecides: Affirming women’s rights to their own body

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Yes! SheDecides: Affirming women’s rights to their own body

Friday March 2, 2018

March 2 — A group of stakeholders and global representatives came together today to express their support for SheDecides — a movement that promotes, provides, protects and enhances the fundamental rights of every girl and woman to freely decide about their sexual lives.

The discussion, organised in conjunction with SheDecides’ first anniversary, saw participations of regional non-profit group Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (Arrow) and representatives from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland, among others.

Continued: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/yes-shedecides-affirming-womens-rights-to-their-own-body

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Norway to increase support for women’s health and safe abortion

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Norway to increase support for women's health and safe abortion

Press release | Date: Oct 12, 2017

'Norway is at the forefront of efforts to promote gender equality and women's health at the international level. We are among the biggest donors to efforts in this field, but there are still many unmet needs. The Government therefore proposes an increase of NOK 180 million in earmarked support for women's health and safe abortion in 2018. 'This increase comes in addition to the major increase in funding earlier this year, in connection with the SheDecides initiative,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Continued at source: Government of Norway: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/womens_health/id2574852/

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She Decides!!! A global initiative to challenge the hegemony of the US government in funding family planning and abortion

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FEATURE: She Decides!!! A global initiative to challenge the hegemony of the US government in funding family planning and abortion

March 10, 2017, by Safe Abortion

The story to date
On 22 January 2017, the Global Gag Rule was reinstated by Donald Trump the day after he took office. (See the Campaign newsletter report of 27 January which outlines the history of the Gag Rule, which goes back 32 years, the consequences it had for NGOs in the past and the current picture.)

Six short weeks later, on 3 March 2017, as reported in the PAI Washington Memo of 7 March, USAID had inserted a new section Mexico City Policy (March 2017) into the guidance governing USAID funding to NGOs outside of the USA that is "applicable to all awards that include family planning funds".

A notice to USAID headquarters and field staff stated that this new section will be inserted into all new USAID family planning assistance grants and cooperative agreements, and also into existing agreements “when such agreements are amended to add incremental funding”. Thus, it will not be applied to already existing grants, but only if new funding is added to them or for new grants. The notice emphasises that the Gag Rule does not apply to agreements with foreign governments or multilateral organizations, consistent with implementation during the previous Bush administration. However, the US government has other policies with similar restrictions for the governments and inter-governmental agencies it funds, such as UNFPA. And unlike the Gag Rule, which was rescinded under Clinton and Obama, these other policies have been operative non-stop for decades.

Continued at source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://us12.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c02a095d6213ac4bd2aed2e81&id=bd2731fc6d&e=3fa4c971b0

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Countries Donate Millions To Counter Trump’s Global Anti-Abortion Rule

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Countries Donate Millions To Counter Trump’s Global Anti-Abortion Rule
Trump has banned U.S. funding to nonprofits that provide information about abortion.

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
03/03/2017

Countries are coming together to support women’s reproductive health, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s ban on United States funding for global nonprofits that provide information about abortion.

On Thursday, 57 countries as well as private donors gathered at a conference in Brussels, Belgium, and raised more than $190 million to support women’s health groups that will lose U.S. funding, reports the Associated Press.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/she-decides-trump-global-gag-rule_us_58b9a4bfe4b0d2821b4dd913

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Doctors Without Borders Reiterates Critical Medical Need for Reproductive Health Services

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Doctors Without Borders Reiterates Critical Medical Need for Reproductive Health Services

By Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) -

March 2, 2017

NEW YORK, MARCH 2, 2017—As the “She Decides” initiative formally kicks off in Brussels today, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is stressing the importance of access to reproductive health services like safe abortions, a critical medical need for women and girls across the world. This global initiative is in direct response to the reinstatement of the US government’s Mexico City Policy, which endangers the lives of women and could encourage unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortion is one of the five main causes of maternal mortality worldwide.

Continued at source: Yubanet: https://yubanet.com/world/doctors-without-borders-reiterates-critical-medical-need-for-reproductive-health-services/

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UK fails to contribute as donors unite to bridge US ‘global gag’ funding shortfall

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UK fails to contribute as donors unite to bridge US 'global gag' funding shortfall

As countries pledge a total of €181m to fill void left by Trump administration’s funding ban, UK highlights existing commitments on family planning

Jennifer Rankin in Brussels and Jessica Elgot in London
Thursday 2 March 2017

The British government failed to join other donors in pledging millions of dollars to an international fund aimed at filling the gap left by Donald Trump’s reimposition of the “global gag rule”.

At a conference in Brussels on Thursday attended by delegates from 50 countries, pledges were made totalling €181m (£155m) to fund family planning and reproductive health services in low-income countries. Organisers hope to counter Trump’s ban on US aid to overseas groups that provide abortion or abortion advocacy, one of the US president’s first acts in the White House.

Countries including Canada, Sweden and Finland lined up to announce pledges, while Britain’s minister at the talks presented existing spending commitments.

Continued at source: The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/02/uk-donors-unite-us-global-gag-rule-shortfall-trump-she-decides-conference-brussels

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