These US abortion restrictions threaten reproductive health everywhere

The recent decision of the US Supreme Court has been overturned Roe v. Wade It has led to discussions about how to protect reproductive freedom in the United States. President Biden proposed ending the Senate filibuster rule for Congress to pass legislation legalizing abortion rights, and he signed an executive order to “protect access to reproductive health care.” Legislators in some states have passed new laws expanding abortion rights. What is missing from this debate, however, is similar discourse and concrete action by Democrats to protect reproductive rights in less developed countries, which are directly affected by Republican attacks on US funding for reproductive health, not only in the United States, but around the world. .

Developing countries struggle to improve reproductive health services even where abortion is legal. For example, safe abortion services have been legal in Nepal since 2004. The Constitution of Nepal has enshrined “safe maternal and reproductive health” as basic human rights. Despite these constitutional and legal protections, Nepal witnesses at least three maternal deaths every day, especially in remote areas, due to limited health care facilities and lack of easy access to safe abortion if the birth poses risks to maternal health.

This is a problem for many developing countries that are victims of US policies on abortion abroad, including the 1973 Helms Amendment, which prohibits US taxpayer money from being used for abortions even if abortion is legal in that jurisdiction. Although the Helms Amendment provides exceptions for cases of rape, consanguinity, or a risk to the mother’s health, many recipients do not provide any abortion services for fear of losing US funds.

Funding restrictions on U.S. reproductive health care do not end with the Helms Amendment. In 1984, Republican President Ronald Reagan announced that foreign medical providers could not receive US funding if they provided abortion services, even with non-US funding. Known as the “Mexico Policy” or “Global Gag Rule,” this policy also prohibits US-aided NGOs from referring to abortion when counseling pregnant people or advocating for abortion rights. Rooted in U.S. abortion policy, this policy is repealed every time a Democrat becomes president and reinstated every time Republicans regain control.

The global bottleneck disproportionately targets poor, marginalized and often indigenous women who live in low-income countries and lack access to private health care. Research shows that the global curfew does not reduce abortions, but rather increases abortion rates. When the United States, the world’s largest global health donor, withdraws funding from medical clinics that provide, seek, or advocate for abortion services, those clinics often go out of business and make contraceptives unavailable, leading to more unplanned pregnancies and thus more abortions. causes. – often dangerous procedures.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.