Mexico City Policy Associated With Increase In Abortion Rates In Some African Countries, Lancet Global Health Study Shows

The Guardian: Global gag rule linked to abortion rise in African countries that accept U.S. aid
“A U.S. government policy that restricts [global health] funding to [foreign] organizations that conduct or support abortions has been [associated with] a 40% increase in terminations in African countries that depend on American foreign aid, according to new research. The study, published on Thursday in The Lancet Global Health, also found that implementation of the policy resulted in a reduction of the use of modern contraceptives and an increase in pregnancies…” (Bryant, 6/27).

NPR: Study: U.S. Ban On Aid To Foreign Clinics That ‘Promote’ Abortion Upped Abortion Rate
“…[The] new study in the medical journal The Lancet suggests that the Mexico City policy has actually increased the rate of abortions by about 40% in the countries studied — likely because the funding ban caused a reduction in access to contraception and a consequent rise in unwanted pregnancies. … The study offers some of the most ‘compelling’ evidence to date of the impact of the Mexico City policy, says Jennifer Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has been tracking the worldwide effects of Trump’s version of the funding ban…” (Aizenman, 6/27).

The Telegraph: U.S. aid policy that restricts abortions has opposite effect, researchers find
“…The Lancet Global Health study — based on data from 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 1995 and 2014 — found that when the policy was enacted, the difference in abortion rates between countries that are heavily dependent on U.S. aid and those less dependent was 4.8 per 10,000 which represents a 40 percent increase compared to periods when the policy was not in effect. At the same time, contraceptive use decreased by 13.5 percent and pregnancies increased by 12 percent. ‘Regardless of one’s beliefs about abortion, the effects of this policy are undesirable,’ said Grant Miller, a co-author of the study…” (Arie, 6/28).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: African abortions rose under U.S. policy to stop them, study says
“… ‘Our analysis is the first to demonstrate that the … policy is followed by increased abortions — likely unsafe abortions,’ said the study by Stanford University researchers in The Lancet Global Health journal, describing the policy results as ‘undesirable and unintended.’ The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which administers aid, was not immediately available to comment…” (Wulfhorst, 6/27).

Additional coverage of the study is available from Gizmodo, New Scientist, Reuters, and U.N. Dispatch.

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