U.S. Government Reports 4 Prime Partners Decline To Comply With Mexico City Policy; Numbers Ignore Important Context, Advocates Say

Devex: Global health security’s ticking clock, ‘Global gag rule’ at 6 months and Abraaj: this week in development
“…The U.S. State Department released its first review of implementation and challenges associated with the expansion of the Mexico City policy early last year. … This first review reported that, ‘it is too early to assess the full range of benefits and challenges of the [Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA)] policy for global health assistance,’ but sought to address some of the concerns groups have raised about the policy so far. The review included a number of ‘action’ items the State Department intends to take as increasing numbers of organizations fall under the new policy’s purview…” (Igoe, 2/8).

The Hill: Most groups agree to stop abortion services in exchange for U.S. aid
“A Trump administration decision to put new abortion restrictions on international health funding has prompted four nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and 12 of their local partners to not renew their requests for the aid. President Trump last year reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, which bans the use of foreign aid for international family planning organizations and NGOs that provide or promote abortions. He also went a step further than previous presidents by extending the policy to cover all global health assistance programs furnished by all U.S. departments or agencies…” (Hellmann, 2/8).

Rewire: Trump Administration’s Global Gag Rule Review ‘Ignoring the Evidence’ on Policy’s Danger
“…The administration’s review stressed that only four prime partners out of 733 awards up for renewal declined to accept the terms of the expanded global gag rule. But that rundown ignores key context, according to [a] Planned Parenthood press release. Two of the four prime partners are International Planned Parenthood Federation, ‘which delivers more than 300 services every minute of every day,’ and Marie Stopes, which provides ‘contraceptive services to millions of women, girls and communities across Africa and Asia,’ per the release. The rest of the nearly 1,300 awardees have yet to face the impending decision, according to a background call with reporters. … The six-month review didn’t mention reproductive health experts’ assessments, only that several ‘stakeholder groups,’ including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the U.S. political arm of the Vatican, voiced support for the policy…” (Grimaldi, 2/8).

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