Trump’s Proposal to Further Expand Global Gag Rule Amid Pandemic Would Cut Off Healthcare Access to Millions, Rights Groups Warn

"Study after study—including from the State Department—has demonstrated that this neocolonialist policy has inflicted a crushing blow to healthcare access for people around the world."

by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday warned that a newly proposed expansion of the anti-choice global gag rule will put millions at even greater risk of being unable to access healthcare including abortion care.

The U.S. State Department on Monday entered into the Federal Register a proposed policy change which would refuse global health aid through federal government contracts to foreign healthcare groups that provide abortion care or counseling.

Continued: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/trumps-proposal-further-expand-global-gag-rule-amid-pandemic-would-cut-healthcare


Trump administration wants to expand international rule limiting abortion access

By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Mon September 14, 2020

(CNN)The Trump administration is pushing to expand its ban on funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions, a move that critics say could further restrict health care access around the world.

In a move that will please President Donald Trump's base, the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration published the proposed rule on Monday to extend the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy, which already encompasses global health grants and cooperative agreements, to apply to contracts. The rule already applies to the State Department, Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense and the US Agency for International Development.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/14/politics/trump-administration-expand-international-abortion-rule/index.html


Abortion, sexuality, global health and more: A chat with South Africa’s ‘Dr T’

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 | NEWS

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng—known popularly as Dr T—you have somehow missed her ubiquitous presence on radio, TV, social media and numerous other platforms. She’s a medical doctor, sex expert and health activist. She’s a member of the South Africa Commission on Gender Equality and was recently appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. Dr. Mofokeng is also the author of A Guide to Sexual Health and Pleasure. She took time from her busy schedule to field some questions from Ipas.

Congratulations on your recent appointment as a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health—and for being the first woman from Africa named to that post. What excites you most about this new role?

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/news/abortion-sexuality-global-health-and-more-a-chat-with-south-africas-dr-t/


Women Have Paid the Price for Trump’s Regulatory Agenda

By Osub Ahmed, Shilpa Phadke, and Diana Boesch 
September 10, 2020

From the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, his administration has used every tool in its arsenal to chip away at women’s health, employment, economic security, and rights overall. One of the administration’s most effective, and at times less noticed, tools to crafting this harmful agenda against women has been to use the standard agency rule-making process as a political weapon.1 Frequently ignoring relevant data and research, the Trump administration has used the rule-making process to issue guidance, interpret public policy, and implement statutes in ways that are fundamentally harmful to women, often pushing beyond the limits of its legal authority while consistently underestimating the financial costs and dismissing the human impact of its rules.2

Continued: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/09/10/490241/women-paid-price-trumps-regulatory-agenda/


Abortion: How do Trump and Biden’s policies compare?

9 September 2020

Abortion is arguably the most divisive issue in US politics - and with the presidential candidates promising to either revoke national rights to abortion or take extra steps to safeguard it, the stakes have never been higher.

With President Trump in the White House, anti-abortion activists are energised and Republican-controlled states have tightened restrictions.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54003808


Meeting Women’s Modern Contraceptive Needs Could Yield Dramatic Benefit

September 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan

“Achieving true progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights requires a comprehensive approach and a commitment to tackling deeply entrenched inequities and injustices of which marginalized communities continue to bear the brunt,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute. She spoke at a recent Wilson Center event where speakers analyzed findings from the Guttmacher Institute on the state of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally.

The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back progress made towards SRHR.  “A growing body of evidence shows that the pandemic is already limiting access to sexual and reproductive health care worldwide, especially in low- and middle- income countries,” said Sarah Barnes, Project Director of the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center. These impacts go unrecognized because they are indirect results of health system disruption rather than the direct impact of a virus, said Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute.

Continued: https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2020/09/meeting-womens-modern-contraceptive-yield-dramatic-benefit/


Domesticate International Legal Frameworks on Women Health Rights, Nigerian Govt Urged

August 31, 2020

Nigerian government has been urged to domesticate all international and regional legal frameworks that promote Women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (WSRH&R).

This was one of the outcomes of a three-day workshop for journalists on the Global Gag Rule (GGR) and its implications on women’s health.

Continued: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/08/31/domesticate-international-legal-frameworks-on-women-health-rights-nigerian-govt-urged/


Nigeria – Unsafe Abortion: Abolish GGR policy, stakeholders tell Donald Trump

AUGUST 25, 2020
By Anayo Okoli

Stakeholders in the campaign for improved women’s health in Nigeria and the world at large have decried the negative impact of the Mexico City Policy, introduced by President Donald Trump in 2016, on the wellbeing of mothers and children.

Making the call in Owerri, Imo State, during a zonal training workshop organised for media practitioners by Ipas Nigeria, participants said the policy has denied millions access to family planning and other reproductive health services.

Continued: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/08/unsafe-abortion-abolish-ggr-policy-stakeholders-tell-donald-trump/   


International abortion rule led to lapsed health aid in some African countries, report shows

By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Thu August 20, 2020

(CNN) A State Department review of the Trump administration's policy to bar funding for foreign nonprofits that perform or promote abortions found it has also affected efforts to treat tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS and to deliver nutritional assistance, among other programs, and has had significant impact in sub-Saharan Africa.

The review, published Tuesday, looks at the impact of the Trump administration's 2017 decision to reinstate the "Mexico City Policy" -- which had previously impacted only family planning assistance -- and extend it to all applicable US global health funding under the "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance" policy.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/abortion-global-rule-usaid-state-department/index.html


Africa – Abortion is healthcare – and this makes it a human right

Reproductive justice is about much more than the freedom to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not – it challenges systems of oppression and discrimination and calls for a focused action plan for law reform.

By Tlaleng Mofokeng
14 August 2020

Dignity, bodily integrity, equality, safety and security, and health – including reproductive health – are human rights.

States must work to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, age, immigration or documentation status, geography or class, are able to access life-affirming and comprehensive healthcare. No circumstances or interventions should lead to discrimination, obstruction of access to abortion, or complications or death due to unsafe procedures.

Continued: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-08-14-abortion-is-healthcare-and-this-makes-it-a-human-right/