The Mexico City Policy or ‘Global Gag Rule’ by Marie Stopes International

Festival of Choice 2017

*reposted from Marie Stopes International website – read the full post here*

The Mexico City Policy: A world without choice

Millions of women in the developing world are likely to lose access to modern contraception, following the re-introduction of a Republican policy that blocks US Government funding to non-US organisations that perform abortion with their own funding. This will negatively impact not just women’s health and their opportunities for the future, but the longer-term economic prospects and stability of the world’s poorest countries.

The Mexico City Policy (sometimes called the Global Gag Rule) will prevent USAID from partnering with organisations that deliver comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, often in places where no other services exist. This decision will not only deprive women of their right to have children by choice, not chance, but in many cases their access to primary healthcare.

What is the Mexico City Policy?

The Mexico City Policy is a US Executive Order that means any international organisation that provides or promotes abortion services – regardless of how those services are funded – is prohibited from receiving US Government funding.

The Mexico City Policy was first enacted by Ronald Reagan in 1984. Since then, successive presidents have alternatively rescinded and re-enacted the policy. In January 2017, the incoming Republican administration re-enacted the Mexico City Policy.

The scale of the issue

Since 2009, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has made a significant investment in projects that expand access to voluntary contraception for women and girls in developing countries. Currently, USAID is the world’s largest bilateral donor in family planning, investing approximately $620 million a year in family planning services.

There are long-standing legislative restrictions in place to ensure that USAID does not ever fund abortion services. However, before the Mexico City Policy was re-enacted, USAID was able to fund family planning programmes with organisations like Marie Stopes International, which provide safe abortion services using funding from other donors. It is these organisations that will be affected by the policy.

Through our partnership with USAID, Marie Stopes International has been able to provide voluntary contraceptive services to millions of poor and disadvantaged women, girls and communities across Africa and Asia. We estimate that if USAID funding continued to support family planning services delivered to our clients, we would reach approximately 1.5 million women and girls annually, preventing an estimated 1.6 million unintended pregnancies, averting 530,000 abortions (505,000 of them unsafe), and averting 5,265 maternal deaths each year.

Read the rest of the post on Marie Stopes International website!

*reposted from Marie Stopes International website – read the full post here*

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