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One year on: the devastating effects of the Global Gag Rule

Tuesday 23 January 2018 MSI Reproductive Choices Contraception, Safe abortion and post abortion care Ghana

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One year ago today, President Trump re-enacted a policy that ultimately prevents women around the world from accessing life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

The Global Gag Rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, withholds US government funding from any non-US organisation that provides or even talks about abortion, and has caused a funding gap that could have a devastating impact on millions of the world’s most vulnerable for years to come. For Marie Stopes International, the loss of funding caused by the Global Gag Rule has been most strongly felt in our work with poor and marginalised communities, who often have no other way of accessing contraception. 

Every day we hear from women like Peace and Deborah, whose stories are told in the video below. They tell us that being able to use contraception means being able to take control of their future and make choices about their lives.

The reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule denies those choices to millions of women.  

Unless we are able to close that funding gap of US$80m (£60m), we estimate that more than 2 million women will no longer have access to contraception services from a trained Marie Stopes International provider leading to additional unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and ultimately thousands of maternal deaths.

We’re doing everything we can to fill the funding gap and make sure that we don’t fail the women and girls that want our services. As we move forward in 2018 our focus is not on politics in Washington, but on continuing to providing services to women like Peace and Deborah in Ghana whose life has been so profoundly improved by having access to contraception. 

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Every woman should have the right to choose when and whether to have children.

The Global Gag Rule means millions will be left without that choice.