OPINION: Midwives are more important now than ever – let’s help them help us
by Simon Cooke and Sylvia Hamata | Marie Stopes International
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
Delivering a baby is just one part of being a midwife. This International Day of the Midwife, we want to highlight the least talked about aspect of midwifery: providing safe abortion and post-abortion care.
The meaning of midwife is ‘with woman’. By providing information and services, midwives are essential in enabling women to exercise their reproductive and sexual rights and choices. In some cases, this will mean assisting a woman with the birth of their first child. In others, it will mean supporting a woman to end a pregnancy or providing a woman with life-saving post-abortion care following an unsafe abortion.
Kenya split over campaign to give women the right to safe abortions
MP Esther Passaris says lives are being put at risk in a country where 40% of pregnancies are unplanned
Ginger Hervey in Nairobi
Tue 17 Mar 2020
The pills arrived with no instructions. Delivered on a Sunday to Joy’s home in Kayole, an informal settlement in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, by someone she didn’t know.
She had ordered them because she was pregnant, and didn’t want to be. At 19, she said, she couldn’t support a baby, and the father had stopped answering his phone after she told him. Desperate, she had asked an older friend, who said she knew someone who could help.
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:
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.
When the U.S. Pulls the Funding Plug, How Do Reproductive Health Providers Proceed?
Yam Kumari Kandel Senior Reporter
Linda Mujuru Reporter
Prudence Phiri Lead Reporter
Nakisanze Segawa Reporter
May 12, 2019
In 2017, the United States reenacted a policy that dramatically limited how reproductive healthcare providers around the world could use its money. But proving the policy’s actual impact on reproductive health programs worldwide, from Nepal to Zimbabwe, is difficult: Some providers found funding elsewhere, while others are reluctant to share information about their work, leading to a lack of data.
SURKHET, NEPAL — Kaushila BK and her husband, Dilip BK, have a son and a daughter. They say they can’t afford any more children.
Women’s Groups and Funders Respond to Global Gag Rule
Four successful strategies to mitigate the effects of a restrictive funding policy that the Trump administration reinstated.
By Leila Hessini
Apr. 10, 2019
As one of his first acts as president of the United States, Donald Trump reinstated a policy prohibiting organizations from receiving US government aid if they provide services, referrals, and advocacy related to abortion abroad. In late March 2019, the Trump administration expanded this policy to include subcontractors serving groups that provide or discuss abortion.
The United States is the world’s largest donor to global health, and abortion-related services are often integrated into general health care involving HIV, contraceptives, and families. The policy, known as the Mexico City Policy and dubbed the global gag rule by women’s groups to reflect the act’s intentions and impact, was first introduced by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Since then, each Democratic president has rescinded it and each Republican president has reinstated it. Under Trump, the policy covers all $8.8 billion in US global health aid, nearly 15 times the reach of previous iterations.
How a change in U.S. abortion policy reverberated around the globe
Health-care workers in Madagascar and dozens of other countries have faced new obstacles since Trump signed an order tying U.S. aid to antiabortion rules.
By Max Bearak and Carol Morello
Photo and video by Carolyn Van Houten
Oct. 10, 2018
BETSINGILO, Madagascar — Nana thought for a second, and then shook her head. Donald Trump? No, never heard of him.
Her humble, earthen home and field of cassava are about as far from Washington as it gets. She lives in Madagascar, an impoverished island hundreds of miles off the coast of Africa — and tiny Betsingilo is a week-long trip by bus from the country’s capital.
The distance has not stopped Trump’s foreign policy from affecting people’s lives here.
Melania Trump's sunny message in Africa at odds with US policy
By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN
October 3, 2018
Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)First lady Melania Trump's solo swing through Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt should come as no surprise.
It has become something of a tradition for US first ladies.
In the 1990s, Hillary Clinton met with Nelson Mandela and toured his jail cell on Robben Island. Laura Bush traveled to Africa to visit HIV/AIDS programs. Michelle Obama, who focused more on domestic issues, still made it out to South Africa and Botswana on a solo tour.
SAFAIDS brings ‘She Decides Southern Africa’ to Namibia
By Southern Times
Windhoek - Gender activists from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region launched the She Decides Southern Africa campaign on 13 August in Windhoek.
The campaign, part of a global effort to protect women and girls, was launched along with the 10th edition of the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer ahead of the 38th SADC Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government held from 17 to18 August 2018.
How Trump's abortion gag rule policy impacts the global AIDS crisis
By Rory Smith, CNN
Tue July 31, 2018
(CNN)New findings presented last week at the 22nd International AIDS Conference reveal how President Donald Trump's expansion of the so-called global gag rule -- which restricts US health assistance funding to non-US NGOs that offer abortion services -- is likely to have widescale negative effects on the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Four hundred seventy non-US NGOs working in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS across the world might be subject to the expanded global gag rule, according to new data presented at the conference. These organizations received $900 million from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2015.