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Opinion Pieces Discuss Possible Implications Of Mexico City Policy On Women’s Rights, Health Worldwide

The Independent: As an obstetrician who just moved to America, I fear how far Donald Trump will take his anti-abortion stance
Reena Aggarwal, obstetrician

“…[B]y withdrawing [funding] from international development efforts [that] ease access to contraception services and family planning, Donald Trump has effectively restricted millions of women in developing and war-torn countries access to safe abortions … As one of the richest economies in the world, this is staggering — the money saved is miniscule — but the message it sends to women is stark: you are on your own. … A pro-choice stance is not pro-abortion; it is something very different. It values autonomy for women and recognizes that it is a woman — not the men around her — who has control over her body and what happens to it. Without that, we face very dark times ahead indeed” (1/25).

Daily Vox: Why does Trump hate women?
Shaazia Ebrahim, intern at Zambia’s Daily Vox

“…The [Mexico City policy] compels global health providers to accept the ruling and cancel all abortion-related services or to reject the ruling and lose the U.S. foreign aid that many are reliant on. But it also has numerous other possible implications for women’s health worldwide. … Studies show that once the policy is implemented, the number of family services and clinics in a country decrease, which sometimes hikes the abortion rates. … Can we just say: considering Trump’s earlier misogynistic remarks, and behavior, his pro-life stance seems less concerned with the rights of unborn children and more about controlling women’s bodily autonomy — a right which is enshrined in our own Constitution [in Zambia]” (1/25).

New York Times: President Trump’s War on Women Begins
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

“…Presumably Trump thought [the Mexico City policy] would reduce abortions, and was thus ‘pro-life.’ In fact, this is a ‘pro-death’ approach that actually increases abortions, as well as deaths among women. … Worse, Trump expanded this ‘global gag rule’ — as critics call it, because it bars groups from mentioning abortion — so that it apparently will cover all kinds of health services, including efforts to tackle polio or Zika or HIV, even programs to help women who have been trafficked into brothels. … President Trump, you may think you are ‘pro-life’ and preventing abortions, but that’s a lie or a delusion. In fact, you are increasing the number of abortions and of dying women…” (1/26).

The Hill: Trump’s abortion gag rule threatens long-fought global health gains
Latanya Mapp Frett, executive director of Planned Parenthood Global

“…United States leadership is key in meeting [the need for modern contraception], and stopping preventable maternal and child deaths by expanding access to family planning services. These investments not only save millions of lives but also save money … The global gag rule undermines this valuable effort, sending a message to the world that the U.S. is against abortion, and that we prioritize the issue of abortion above everything else. It also undercuts and undermines the efficiency of our foreign assistance dollars. … [Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced a bill in the Senate and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) offered a companion bill in the House] Tuesday to counteract the executive action. Entitled the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, passage of this law can permanently end this dangerous policy once and for all. We hope people will voice their support for this legislation…” (1/25).

Inter Press Service: Trump’s Global Gag a Devastating Blow for Women’s Rights
Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“…President Trump is now following a worrying tradition that has a dangerous impact on the sexual and reproductive rights, health, and life of women and girls across the world, particularly those who are most at risk of human rights abuses. … While discrimination against women is evident in almost all areas of life, it is in the area of sexual and reproductive health that it reaches shocking levels. It is the regulation of women’s sexuality and reproduction that most clearly reveals harmful gender stereotypes and bias. Unfortunately, in this adverse regional context, and with the reinstatement of the global gag rule, the future for women and girls and their real chances of being able to exercise their human rights are tragically uncertain. Today more than ever, a strong stand against these clear violations of women’s human rights needs to prevail. It is time to unite in action against discrimination and violence” (1/26).

American Prospect: NGOs: How will the ‘global gag rule’ affect your work?
Dorothy Samuels, senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice

“…By not only renewing but also expanding this harsh Republican tradition, Trump has accomplished two things, apart from pleasing the nation’s anti-abortion rights lobby. He has inflicted immediate harm on vulnerable women and girls all over the world. And, at a moment when access to reproductive health care — including affordable contraception and safe abortion — is at risk in this country, Trump has given American women a window into the future he and congressional Republicans seek for them” (1/25).

Forbes: Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’ On Abortion Hurts All Women
Judy Stone, infectious disease specialist

“…The global gag rule seems somehow fitting for a misogynistic administration hell-bent on making decisions behind closed doors and imposing its will on others — especially women and people of color. In addition to the global gag rule to hurt women — one of Trump’s first actions as leader — in the past day Trump has also reportedly imposed gag orders on the EPA, NPS, and USDA. So much for transparency and spreading democracy. This administration is increasingly trampling on women’s autonomy and human rights. Expanding the global gag rule is likely just the start” (1/25).

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