Study Examines Impact Of Mexico City Policy On Health Services In Kenya

The Conversation: Insights into how the U.S. abortion gag rule affects health services in Kenya
Boniface Ushie, associate research scientist at African Population and Health Research Center, and colleagues

“…Kenya relies heavily on foreign aid to finance its sexual and reproductive health services. … The African Population and Health Research Center, in partnership with the Global Health Justice and Governance Program of Columbia University, carried out a study to establish how Trump’s expanded [Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule,] affected sexual and reproductive health services including family planning, safe abortion, and post-abortion care in Kenya. We found that in the first 18 months, the expanded rule’s effects transcended the limitation of abortion care. It affected funding and disrupted collaboration and health promotion activities. It also strengthened opposition to sexual and reproductive health and rights. These losses weaken NGO support to the Kenyan health system and … will likely have a substantial impact on clients seeking sexual and reproductive health services. … In light of evidence of the effects of this policy, the U.S. government should reconsider how it affects people living in different contexts. And the Kenyan government must figure out how to lessen the impact of the global gag rule on its health system. It is critical for the Kenyan government to look to its own policies and increase budgetary allocation for sexual and reproductive health services so that they cushion the impact of the global gag rule. In addition, policymakers in the U.S. should work to permanently repeal the policy in light of ample evidence demonstrating its adverse impact” (9/30).

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