When Mexico City Policy In Place, Abortion Rates Increase In Sub-Saharan Africa, Study Authors Write

CNN: The unintended consequences of U.S. global abortion policy
Nina Brooks, PhD candidate in environment and resources at Stanford University; Eran Bendavid, associate professor of medicine at Stanford University; and Grant Miller, associate professor of medicine at Stanford University, director of the Stanford King Center on Global Development, and non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…Our findings published in the Lancet Global Health … suggest that a major U.S. global abortion policy [– the Mexico City policy –] has striking, important, and unintended consequences in sub-Saharan Africa. … What we find is a stark, quantitative pattern that shows when the policy is in place, contraceptive use decreases by 13.5%, pregnancies increase by 12%, and importantly, abortions increase by 40% in countries most reliant on U.S. funding compared to when the policy is inactive. … While it may at first seem surprising that the Mexico City policy increases abortions, this pattern of results makes sense. Because many of [the affected] organizations are important providers of contraceptives and family planning across Africa, when the policy is active, the supply of these services falls — and the rest of what we find then flows from this: less contraceptive use, more pregnancies, and more abortion. Given that many abortions are performed under unsafe circumstances, our analysis likely underestimates the full harm of the policy. … Regardless of one’s political leaning or values, an increase in abortion seems to be an unintended consequence of the Mexico City policy. There may be little agreement on alternatives to the policy, but not increasing abortion on a large scale, even unwittingly, could potentially be a common goal. And the data shows that the Mexico City policy does not achieve that” (7/3).

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