The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World

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The Global Gag Rule Is Harming Women Around The World — EXCLUSIVE

By Nancy Northup & Anu Kumar
Feb 19, 2018

Jan. 23 marks one year since President Donald Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which bans overseas organizations that receive U.S. funding from using their own money to provide abortion information, referrals, or to advocate for law reform. The policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, not only harms women and girls around the world, it disproportionately impacts countries home to mainly people of color. It embodies the “America First” ideological imperialism and reliance on strong-arm coercion that have shaped and defined this administration’s first year.

Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan has implemented the gag rule, using foreign policy to bully countries on abortion for decades. Since 1973, global health organizations have been working under the Helms Amendment, an egregious policy that bans any U.S. foreign aid funds from being used for abortion services. This policy remains in effect, and the gag rule bolsters it. Despite the Helms Amendment, in recent years the global community has made progress in expanding access to reproductive health care, particularly safe abortion.

Continued: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/the-global-gag-rule-is-harming-women-around-the-world-exclusive-8245633

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland
Feb 9, 2018

The worsening state of SRHR in Poland has brought multiple reactions from international human rights bodies. Please below find here the most crucial observations and recommendations.

Letter of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Poland, the Commissioner refers to recent developments affecting the independence of the judiciary; women’s access to sexual and reproductive rights; the deteriorating environment for NGOs active in the area of women’s rights and assistance to victims of domestic violence; and attacks against the independence and effectiveness of the Ombudsman.

Regarding women’s rights, the Commissioner regrets that new barriers are being created to hinder women’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, emergency contraception and abortion care. He urges the authorities to repeal any retrogressive laws and to reject any legislative or policy proposals which would weaken women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Here the main fragment related to SRHR:

Continued: http://en.federa.org.pl/international-concerns-about-womens-rights-backsliding-in-poland/

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USA: Coercion Is at the Heart of Social Conservatives’ Reproductive Health Agenda

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Coercion Is at the Heart of Social Conservatives’ Reproductive Health Agenda
Joerg Dreweke, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: February 7, 2018

HIGHLIGHTS

Coercive intent and practices are at the core of social conservatives’ reproductive health agenda, including virtually every reproductive health–related initiative from the Trump administration and social conservatives in Congress over the past year.
Coercion can take many forms, including withholding information, obstructing access to health services or providers, attempting to ban services outright and empowering third parties to impose their views on others.
Such coercive measures particularly target people who are in vulnerable positions, for instance because of their immigration status, youth or lack of financial resources.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2018/02/coercion-heart-social-conservatives-reproductive-health-agenda

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Nigeria: Advocates urge women to embrace contraceptive use

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Advocates urge women to embrace contraceptive use

Published on February 1, 2018
By Appolonia Adeyemi

The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government to respond to Trump’s Global Gag Rule by and taking advantage of family planning (FP) as a development strategy to save billions in scarce resources and reduce poverty.

In a Communiqué signed by its President, Mr. Roland Ogbonnaya and Secretary, Mrs Yinka Sokunbi at the end of its meeting which held in Ibadan recently, the network observed that as a result of the United State President, Donald Trump’s Global Gag Rule (GGR), more Nigerian women were losing access to contraception while more incidences of unintended and unwanted pregnancies, abortions and unsafe abortions and deaths of women are being recorded.

https://newtelegraphonline.com/2018/02/advocates-urge-women-embrace-contraceptive-use/

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Nigeria: DEVCOM, NURHI partner New Telegraph to curb maternal death

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DEVCOM, NURHI partner New Telegraph to curb maternal death

Published on February 1, 2018
By Emmanuella Lekwauwa

Determined to curb maternal mortality in the country, Development Communications Network (DEVCOM) in partnership with Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) yesterday sought partnership of New Telegraph to promote family planning services.

DEVCOM Programme Director, Akin Jimoh, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the country was losing many of women to complications arising from pregnancy and child birth, saying if family planning was effectively deployed by people of reproductive age, it would avert many unintended pregnancies as well as prevent unsafe abortions.

Continued: https://newtelegraphonline.com/2018/02/devcom-nurhi-partner-new-telegraph-curb-maternal-death/

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Nigeria: Family Planning Champions Seek Increased Investment In Reproductive Healthcare

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Family Planning Champions Seek Increased Investment In Reproductive Healthcare
By Chioma Umeha -
January 31, 2018

To improve reproductive healthcare in the country, Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN), a non-governmental organisation, has tasked government at levels to increase its investment in the area.

The demand came after a strategic meeting and training workshop of the Network which its members are Nigerian journalists that campaign for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) issues and policies.

Continued: https://independent.ng/family-planning-champions-seek-increased-investment-reproductive-healthcare/

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It’s been a long road to Ireland’s abortion referendum – so what will happen now?

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It's been a long road to Ireland's abortion referendum - so what will happen now?

Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of Bpas
30 January 2018

I became a pro-choice advocate 30 years ago, when I met a girl of my age who had been sent to a young mothers’ home in England before her pregnancy was visible. She had been told to stay there until she ‘looked normal again’ so no one would know her family’s shame.

So, when I heard that the Irish Prime Minister has confirmed a referendum that could change the country's laws that all but ban abortion and enable women's access to terminations, I thought - at last.

Continued: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/long-road-irelands-abortion-referendum-will-happen-now/

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After a rocky start, the IUD is now celebrating its 50th birthday

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After a rocky start, the IUD is now celebrating its 50th birthday
A Likhaan NGO health worker shows an Intrauterine family planning device to housewives at a reproductive health

Written by Katherine Ellen Foley
January 27, 2018

Until relatively recently, scientists didn’t really understand contraception.

The earliest efforts on record to prevent unwanted pregnancy, from ancient Egypt, were to simply clog the uterus—rocks seemed to work well enough in animals like cows and camels (although the logistics of inserting those are a little fuzzy). For obvious reasons, that was not a suitable option for humans.

Continued: https://qz.com/1189274/after-a-rocky-start-the-iud-is-now-celebrating-its-50th-birthday/

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Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls

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Trump-Pence Administration’s Neocolonial Assault on Reproductive Freedom Is Killing African Women and Girls
Jan 23, 2018
Hayley Farless

As advocates and researchers have seen, it is African women and girls who are suffering because of the United States’ interference with reproductive autonomy globally.

Just three days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum to reinstate and expand the “global gag rule,” a Reagan-era, anti-abortion, foreign policy directive, with the backing of Vice President Mike Pence. Because of this policy, any nongovernmental organization (NGO) outside of the United States that provides abortion procedures, participates in pro-choice advocacy, supplies information about abortion, or offers referrals to abortion providers has been forced to choose between forfeiting U.S. foreign assistance funding or ceasing to provide the basic reproductive health services that its patients need.

The global gag rule, also known as the “Mexico City Policy,” goes beyond just blocking U.S. funding for critical reproductive health services. A Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) research report notes that this policy also restricts what groups receiving U.S. funds can do with money from all other sources; organizations must subject all their funds to the same restrictions or lose U.S. funding.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/23/trump-pence-administrations-neocolonial-assault-reproductive-freedom-killing-african-women-girls/

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Women’s rights issues are climate change issues

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Women’s rights issues are climate change issues

By John Podesta and Timothy E. Wirth
January 23, 2018

When we talk about stepping up to address climate change across the world, we rarely think of it in terms of women’s rights. But if environmental activists really want to reduce emissions, raise living standards and build a more sustainable future, they cannot overlook the importance of reproductive rights and health.

Forging a coalition between the environmental movement and the women’s rights movement will not only fundamentally advance women’s rights but also do a world of good for the planet, which is bearing an environmental burden because of population growth.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/womens-rights-issues-are-climate-change-issues/2018/01/22/c59b9b00-f65a-11e7-b34a-b85626af34ef_story.html

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