BY EVELYNE MUSAMBI, FARNOUSH AMIRI, CARA ANNA AND ELLEN KNICKMEYER
September 9, 2023
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The graves at the edge of the orphanage tell a story of despair. The rough planks in the cracked earth are painted with the names of children, most of them dead in the 1990s. That was before the HIV drugs arrived.
Today, the orphanage in Kenya’s capital is a happier, more hopeful place for children with HIV. But a political fight taking place in the United States is threatening the program that helps to keep them and millions of others around the world alive.
The chilling effect doesn’t go away just because a Democrat is in office.
By JOSHUA KEATING
JAN 28, 2021
On Thursday, Joe Biden is expected to participate in what’s become a regular post-inauguration ritual for U.S. presidents by signing an executive order repealing the Mexico City Policy, known by its opponents as the global gag rule, which prohibits U.S. funding to foreign nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals. The policy is a textbook case of how the lives of people thousands of miles away can be directly affected by America’s culture wars. And while Biden’s move will be applauded by reproductive rights advocates and family planning service providers around the world, the uncertainty and instability the rule introduced will be hard to erase.
By Jonathan Mason
November 30, 2020
KINGSTON, Jamaica–November 29th,2020–HIV/AIDS Officer at the United Nations Population Fund Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, Dr. Denise Chevannes, is urging interested parties to focus on adolescent pregnancy prevention, as one of the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She noted that COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem of adolescent pregnancy and has left more girls susceptible to teenage pregnancy.
Joe Biden has pledged to reverse the anti-abortion restrictions on foreign aid. But many changes made in response to the ‘global gag rule’ already may be permanent.
Nov 11, 2020
Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News
In Ethiopia, health clinics for teenagers once supported by U.S. foreign aid closed down.
In Kenya, a decades-long effort to integrate HIV testing and family planning unraveled.
In Nepal, government workers who once traversed the Himalayas to spread information about reproductive health were halted.
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.
'There are times when the whole country runs out of condoms'
Organisations around the world have been badly hit by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the so-called global gag rule. Here’s what’s happening in Malawi.
July 13, 2019
Charlotte Ryan reports from Malawi
ANGELA SOUZA CAREFULLY unwraps a large box of condoms, individually packaged in silver foil. There is no branding on each one, though the red-blue-and-white USAID sticker on the side of the box suggests their origin.
In this context, they appear as valuable as silver coins. Rodney Chalera, the programmes manager at the advocacy group where Angela also works in Lilongwe, Malawi, explains that there are times “when the whole country runs out of condoms”. Indeed, by the close of the afternoon, two women had asked for some for the road. Just in case.
Pompeo expands US ban on funding for abortion services
Posted: Mar 26, 2019
By: CNN Newsource
The US will dramatically expand its efforts to enforce a rule that denies funding to overseas aid groups and health organizations that provide or promote abortion services, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.
The move will undermine a broad array of health programs focused on HIV, malaria, maternal and child health, and likely result in more unsafe abortions, aid groups said.
Trump’s reinstatement and expansion of the global gag rule has harmful effects for women, men, and children
Jan 11, 2019
Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Ernestina Coast, and Nicky Armstrong
Two years ago this month, President Trump reinstated and expanded the global gag rule – the perennial Republican policy which cuts US funding for any organisation worldwide which offers abortion services or counselling. Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Ernestina Coast and Nicky Armstrong argue that not only will the measure – which covers a pot of nearly $10 billion in funding for NGOs – be ineffective in reducing the number of abortions, it will also harm women’s’ reproductive health as well as making other crucial health services less available to women, men, and children around the world.
Who influences whether women in poorer countries can access abortions and other sexual health services? It may surprise you, but the US president has an important part to play. This is because of the so called “global gag rule”(GGR), a US foreign policy that cuts family planning and reproductive health assistance to any healthcare provider overseas which offers and provides abortions.
Criminalizing the right to health: The shared struggle of the HIV and safe abortion movements
Both HIV and unsafe abortion endanger life and health and have a disproportionate impact on people living in developing countries
Thursday, 11 October 2018
By Edwin Cameron and Anand Grover
This month, India’s Supreme Court struck down Section 377 - a colonial-era law that banned same-sex activity and led to the systemic discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ Indians. This was a huge victory for India and - as two lawyers who have spent decades fighting for the rights of LGBTQ individuals - a very personal one.
Yet, while we celebrate this incredible achievement, we must remember that criminalization remains a potent threat for the health and lives of many people around the world. And those that often bear the largest burden are people living with HIV and AIDS and women and girls seeking abortion services.
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.