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News Outlets Examine Reach Of Expanded Mexico City Policy, Reactions From Advocates

Boston Globe: Seeing hope in Trump, local anti-abortion advocates head to D.C. rally
“…Just days into President Trump’s administration, the anti-abortion movement has logged progress on two of its four top agenda items, on expanding protections against government funding for abortions both in the United States and overseas. For the first time, a presidential administration will be represented at the [annual March for Life]; in addition to remarks from presidential aide Kellyanne Conway, a longtime abortion opponent, the crowd will hear from Vice President Mike Pence himself…” (Ebbert, 1/27).

CBS News: The “Mexico City Policy”: Why does it matter?
“First established in 1984 by the Reagan administration during an international conference in Mexico City, (hence the name), the ‘Mexico City policy’ denies money to international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that ‘perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.’ The policy has been a political football ever since, having been revoked or reinstated by each subsequent administration along party lines for the past 32 years…” (Shaffir, 1/27).

Los Angeles Times: Abortion rates went up in some countries the last time ‘global gag rule’ was in effect
“…One of President Trump’s first acts in office [last] week was to bring back the ban, but the effect might not be what was intended. When the policy was last in effect, abortion rates increased in some sub-Saharan African nations, researchers found. … ‘Attempts to stop abortion through restrictive laws — or by withholding family planning aid — will never work, because they do not eliminate women’s need for abortion,’ Marjorie Newman-Williams, who directs Marie Stopes International’s international operations, said in a statement. ‘This policy only exacerbates the already significant challenge of ensuring that people in the developing world who want to time and space their children can obtain the contraception they need to do so.’ Some abortion opponents, however, take issue with the argument that the policy denies women access to family planning services. ‘The money is there,’ said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee in Washington. ‘It will just go to organizations that agree to limit their abortion activities’…” (Zavis/Dixon, 1/28).

Vox: How the global gag rule will hurt women and families, explained by 2 experts on the ground
“…Under Trump, however, about 15 times more funding will be impacted by the gag rule. That will affect not just contraception access and abortion rates but also maternal health care, HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, and Zika virus prevention and treatment. Millions of poor women will lose birth control access, and thousands will die from unsafe abortion or from avoidable pregnancy complications. Vox spoke separately with two overseas health care providers about the situation on the ground in their countries: Lalaina Razafinirinasoa, country director of Marie Stopes Madagascar, and Marta Royo, executive director of the Profamilia network of family planning clinics in Colombia…” (Crockett, 1/27).

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