Biden vowed to repeal the ‘global gag rule,’ but Trump’s ‘anti-woman rhetoric’ isn’t necessarily going away
Jan. 19, 2021
In 2019, Melvine Ouyo, a health policy expert and reproductive rights activist, attended a conference in her city of Nairobi, where antiabortion campaigners were protesting the event. Shortly after that, Ouyo said, she met a pregnant 14-year old girl who had no information about how she could access a safe abortion if she chose.
Ouyo said she believes that if the Trump administration’s “global gag rule” — a U.S. foreign aid policy that restricts funding for abortion-related services — had not been in place, the campaigners wouldn’t have had such a prominent platform, and the girl would have had more information about her reproductive health options.
Critics say the policy has led to deep cuts in funding for family planning
Nelly Munyasia, Womba Wanki
2 Dec 2020
On 23 January 2017, United States President Donald Trump issued an expansion of the Mexico City Policy, or “global gag rule” (GGR), last implemented under George W Bush. The GGR blocks US global health assistance to any foreign nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) that perform abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the woman; provide counselling on, or referrals for, abortion; or lobby for the liberalisation of abortion law. This stance is enforced even if the NGOs use non-US funds for these aspects of healthcare.
She Decides — a global women’s rights movement, of which we’re both members — was a direct response to the reinstatement of the GGR and its devastating effect on the lives and freedoms of women and girls. We are, therefore, encouraged by early indications that president-elect Joe Biden is expected to rescind this devastating rule as one of the new administration’s first acts.
26 NOVEMBER 2020
The Nation (Nairobi)
By Nasibo Kabale
In recent weeks, the country has witnessed a heated debate on the right to health for women as the Senate went into the second reading of the Reproductive Healthcare Bill.
What has been a bone of contention in the Bill is the right to access to sexual and reproductive healthcare as well as the termination of pregnancy which has led to many inaccurately branding it as the 'abortion Bill'. Unsafe abortion remains a leading cause of deaths and injuries related to pregnancy in Kenya.
November 5, 2020
Since Ronald Reagan first implemented the Mexico City Policy in 1984, also known as the “Global Gag Rule”, every Republican President elected since then has signed this into law. The policy blocks U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide abortion counseling or referrals, advocate to decriminalize abortion, or expand abortion services.
But when Trump took office in January 2017, two days after the historic Women’s March, he not only signed the GGR (which President Obama did not), he implemented an expanded version which impacted not just family planning NGOs, but all U.S. global health assistance, increasing the amount of money affected by the policy from roughly $600 million to about $12 billion in estimated planned funding in 2018. The new iteration covered work unrelated to family planning, including projects related to HIV/AIDS, nutrition, malaria, water and sanitation, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Nov 03, 2020
NAIROBI, Nov 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) –
An alliance of Kenyan charities urged the government on Tuesday to withdraw
from a U.S.-led international accord that critics say aims to limit abortion
access for millions of women and girls around the world.
Thirty-three nations, including Kenya, signed the Geneva Consensus Declaration
(GCD) – which was co-sponsored by the United States, Brazil, Uganda, Egypt,
Hungary and Indonesia – on Oct. 22.
Opinion by Terry McGovern
Posted Oct 27, 2020
I am haunted
by the memory of a very young, pregnant girl I met at a clinic in Kisumu,
Kenya. She had been raped. Her mother had brought her to the clinic saying she
had a stomachache. The girl stared at the floor and didn't speak. No one told
the girl that terminating the pregnancy was an option, even though there was an
abortion clinic literally across the road. Looking at her tiny frame, I
wondered if she would survive a pregnancy.
I was witnessing the Trump administration's handiwork. Kenya had liberalized
its abortion law in an effort to reduce maternal mortality, but the country's
decision and that girl's choice was effectively overridden by our government.
Time and again, President Donald Trump and his administration have taken the
political stance that it is they who should control the bodies of women and
by NJERI MBUGUA
We are sitting in her studio apartment, and during the duration of our
conversation, she carefully tucks herself at the corner of her bed.
She had requested me to sit at her study table, just next to the bed on a
wooden chair facing her. Her eyes were swollen and she told me she was yet to
change the sheets in her bed.
The president has given fringe anti-abortion groups unprecedented influence.
OCTOBER 8, 2020
By NEHA WADEKAR
On a rainy morning in May 2019, Dr. John Nyamu was attending to patients on the cluttered first floor of an office building in downtown Nairobi when he heard raucous shouts from down the street. A caravan of protesters was winding toward him, a few hundred people teeming in the streets, bellowing through loudspeakers, and stopping traffic.
As the crowd reached his building, Nyamu, a well-known gynecologist who performs abortions in a private clinic, peered through his window at the protesters below to make out what they were saying. It turns out they were targeting him. “Abortion is murder! Abortion must go! Nyamu must go!” Some held signs with photos of mutilated fetuses. Others clutched baby-size cardboard coffins with crosses on them.
The coronavirus is pushing more women to seek
illegal abortions, as lockdowns limit access to healthcare. In developing
countries, one in three terminations is carried out in dangerous conditions.
Women in Africa are at the highest risk of dying from an unsafe abortion.
September 30, 2020
Boniface Ushie, Sara E Casey, Terry McGovern
The Mexico City Policy – often referred to as the “Global Gag Rule” – is a US government policy that requires non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are not based in the US and that receive US global health assistance to certify that they will not provide, refer for, counsel on, or advocate for abortion as a method of family planning. The rule also applies to any non-US funding that the organisation may receive.
The policy was rescinded by President Obama in 2009 but then reinstated and expanded by President Trump in 2017. While prior iterations applied only to family planning assistance (US$575 million in 2016), Trump’s new version extends the restrictions to nearly all US global health assistance – an estimated US$9.5 billion – which includes funding for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and maternal and child health. For example, it now means that an organisation that provides HIV care and treatment with US funding may not also provide safe abortion.