African Civil Society Leaders Discuss Impact Of Mexico City Policy On Women’s Health In Opinion Piece

Mail & Guardian: Battery acid, cassava sticks and clothes hangers: We must end the global gag rule
Nelly Munyasia, executive director at Reproductive Health Network Kenya and member of She Decides Kenya, and Womba Wanki, executive director of Generation Alive and member of She Decides Zambia

“…Research has found that the [Mexico City policy, otherwise known as the global gag rule (GGR),] causes critical funding losses for health systems and civil-society partners; tears apart fragile health systems through disruption of partnerships and referral networks; and emboldens hostility towards women’s bodily autonomy and choice. Restrictions placed on safe abortion services do not deter women and girls from having abortions. Instead, they force them to seek out unsafe methods to end a pregnancy, putting their lives at risk. … As the executive director at the Reproductive Health Network Kenya and the executive director of Generation Alive based in Zambia, we have both seen this play out on the ground in our native countries, where abortion is allowed beyond the exceptions included in the global gag rule. … As health providers and women’s rights advocates, we’re gravely worried about the continuation of the GGR in the future. We are still trying to quantify the negative impact of the global gag rule’s reinstatement four years ago. In the midst of our concerns, we are also ready to fight back. It’s all we can do” (12/2).

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