Examples from around the world show that restrictions can actually lead to more, not fewer, abortions.
By Neha Wadekar, a Nairobi-based journalist.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
In a 5-4 decision late Wednesday night, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to block a Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant. Known as Senate Bill 8, the law does not allow exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, making it the harshest abortion restriction in the country. The law sets the stage for a battle over the future of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision, which states that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
Reduced abortion access in the United States could have catastrophic results. In countries around the world with limited or no access to safe, affordable abortion, people are either forced to keep unwanted pregnancies or dismembered or even killed by unsafe abortions each day.
by MARJORIE NEWMAN-WILLIAMS
Dr. Sukesh Sharma has worked as a gynecologist and surgeon for more than 40 years, providing services like safe abortion and tubal ligation to women in India. While he has seen progress in women’s reproductive healthcare since he started more than four decades ago—“At that time there were many untrained people doing abortions,” he said of his early career—he has also seen how U.S. politics have interfered with access to safe abortion and other services for Indian women.
Six times, Sharma has seen the global gag rule instated or repealed,
cutting off funding for his services and others, putting the lives of the women
he serves at risk.
BY ABIGAIL ABRAMS
JULY 29, 2021
The House of Representatives passed a package of spending bills this week without provisions banning federal funding for most abortions in the U.S. and abroad, marking the first time in decades that the restrictions have not been included.
The changes face long odds in the evenly divided Senate, where moderate Democrats and Republicans have said they oppose removing the abortion limits, but the House’s move represents a milestone in the national battle over abortion access.
BY LAURA KELLY
House Democrats on Wednesday passed for the first time in more than half a century a State Department and foreign assistance spending bill that does not include the Helms Amendment, a provision that blocks U.S. funding for women’s health services related to abortions.
The state, foreign operations and related programs bill, an annual appropriations package that lays out U.S. foreign funding priorities, excludes text from the Helms Amendment for the first time since it was introduced in 1973.
International Campaign for Safe Abortion
JUNE 25, 2021
A joint statement signed by over 200
international civil society organizations from 88 countries across six
continents was released on 22 June 2021, organized by Planned Parenthood Global
and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Released as part of a week
of action, it calls for a permanent end to the US Global Gag Rule. The
statement, in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, demonstrates the diversity
of just some of the communities harmed by the policy over the past 37 years.
According to research released by Planned Parenthood in September 2020, 70% of
Americans favored ending the Global Gag Rule so that funding for global health
could resume without restrictions.
To be a transformational president, Biden has to fight loud and hard against the Republican assault on reproductive rights.
by Emily Crockett
May 10, 2021
Many progressives found themselves pleasantly surprised with Joe Biden after his first 100 days in office. He’s willing to go big, embrace the legacy of FDR and LBJ, and pass trillions in investments on party-line votes if Republicans don’t offer real solutions. In his first joint address to Congress last month, Biden laid out his agenda and made an unapologetic, empathetic case for big solutions to big crises: not just the pandemic and economic collapse, but also climate change, gun violence, systemic racism, immigration, and more. From the well of the House, Biden proudly advocated for just about every progressive reform that his administration supports. Yet he was silent on one major issue: the decimated state of access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion and the Republican Party’s continually escalating efforts to make it worse.
More than 140 rights groups call for repeal of 1973 Helms amendment widely misinterpreted as total ban on funding abortion services overseas
Fri 30 Apr 2021
Joe Biden is being urged to clarify a longstanding US law restricting overseas aid that has been misinterpreted by successive administrations as an outright ban on funding abortion for any reason.
As the US president marked his first 100 days in office on Friday, more than 140 human rights and global health organisations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International US and the Global Justice Center, signed a letter asking him to confirm that US aid can be used for abortion care in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is in danger.
Millions of the world’s poorest women and girls will ‘pay the price’ of the UK government reneging on its commitments, say aid workers
30 April 2021
The UK government has been accused of “using tactics reminiscent of the Trump era” after cutting millions in aid for family planning.
Boris Johnson’s government is set to slash its commitment to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) by 85% – from an expected contribution of £154m to just £23m – in an enormous blow for women and girls in the poorest countries where health services have already been decimated by COVID-19.
By Sade Oguntola
On Apr 8, 2021
Following the withdrawal of the Global Gap rule by President Joe Biden, groups and stakeholders into reproductive and sexual reproductive health have been urged to come forward to access global funding for supporting provision of comprehensive health services for women in Nigeria.
Director, Policy and Advocacy at Population Action International (PAI,) Mr Jonathan Rucks, speaking at the virtual training for media practitioners on “Global Gag Rule Rescindment: Implications and Next Steps” by IPAS in collaboration with PAI stated that the four years of US President Donald Trump’s administration global gag rule had globally led to increase in the cases of unsafe abortion and poor health of women.
But will Biden do it?
MARCH 31, 2021
Abortion advocates are finally on the offensive. Having barely made it through the last four years with Roe intact, the groups battling to protect the right to abortion can now, in theory, help set the agenda for their pro-choice president. And they are putting much of their energy into a single demand: End the ban on using federal funds for abortion care.
That ban, known as the Hyde Amendment, was passed by Congress in 1976 as an amendment to the federal budget. Thanks to Hyde, Medicaid health insurance can’t cover abortions—except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment—forcing low-income women to pay for abortions out of pocket. The amendment was the first major blow to abortion rights after Roe because it essentially cut off access to those who had always struggled to get care before the procedure was legalized.